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Kevin Coolidge, author of the Totally Ninja Raccoons children's book series - and this article. Photo provided

You've seen photos of the Australian fires. It's overwhelming. Australia has animal species found nowhere else, and they are being pushed to extinction. Australia is a world away from Pennsylvania, but I still want to help.

I read how crafters got out their tools and started hand-knitting pouches for baby kangaroos and wallabies. That's great, but I'm no knitter. What could I do?

I read how Chris Helmsworth, Russell Crowe, Elton John, and Metallica donated hundreds of thousands of dollars. I'm not a famous actor or singer. What could I do?

I read how young, attractive Instagram models sold nude photos and donated the proceeds. Well, people aren't going to pay to see that, and besides - I'm a children's author.

That's it. I'm donating my royalties from every Totally Ninja Raccoon I sell in January to the Animal Australia organization. I've already started and counted the ones I've sold this month. My royalties on each book are a little less than than a dollar, but I'm rounding up for good measure and the math is easier.

Totally Ninja Raccoons is a series of early chapter books, target audience first through fourth grade. The books are short adventures with quick chapters, specially structured to encourage reluctant readers. Each book has the Totally Ninja Raccoons encountering a cryptid - a creature from folklore or mythology, whose existence is not currently confirmed by modern science.

The "monsters" are presented in a fun, not-too-scary way, and readers are encouraged to do their own research to make up their minds about the possible existence of Bigfoot, werewolves, thunderbirds, sidehill gougers, the Loch Ness monster, and more.

The books can be purchased at From My Shelf Books & Gifts in Wellsboro. The store sells the books on their website, and all books come autographed. It's said that no person, or raccoon is too small to make a difference.

About the author

Kevin Coolidge is currently the author of twelve children's books and the creator of the Totally Ninja Raccoons. He's available for school presentations from kindergarten to 4th grade. Presentations include providing information on the writing process and encouraging fun in literacy.

He's especially good with kids, but is open to speaking with other groups as well. As a bookstore owner, Kevin can talk about books, small business, literacy, and most aspects of popular culture, in addition to his books. He resides in Wellsboro, PA, just a short hike from the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

When he's not writing, you can find him at From My Shelf Books & Gifts, an independent bookstore he runs with his lovely wife, Kasey; several helpful employees; and two friendly bookstore cats, Huck & Finn.

He's recently become an honorary member of the Cat Board, and when he's not scooping the litter boxes, getting status reports on the squirrels, or feeding Gypsy her tuna, he's writing more stories about the Totally Ninja Raccoons.

This story was compiled by an NCPA staff reporter from submitted news. To see a list of our editorial staff please visit our staff directory.