By Alicia Kirschenheiter
Oscar & Otis is a new fun book by Alicia Kirschenheiter. Maciej Zajac beautifully illustrates it in a way that adds emphasis to the storyline! The children's book is written to encourage physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle; however, individuals of all ages may find it a challenging reminder!
Oscar and Otis are best friends who have a story to tell. By the way, Oscar and Otis are cats! How cool is that!
Oscar overheard his mom talking to their doctor about her husband being overweight. He had called to discuss how his weight puts him at a higher risk for many health problems. Oscar immediately became concerned since he doesn't want his dad to be sick!
Though Oscar talked to his mom and she told him not to worry, Oscar does--enough to call his best friend, Otis. After thinking about his dad, he realized that he also could become sick. When Otis answered, Oscar asked what he knew about being fat. Otis mumbled a reply because he just happened to be having a snack! Oscar invited himself over to Otis's house to talk about it more. He realized that his dad had a big belly and that it could lead to a sick heart.
In fact, if he kept eating like he did, he could get a belly just like his Dad!
Oscar and Otis talked about what they could do. Otis mentioned that he'd seen television commercials for a gym--and a guy called King Phineus! They got on the computer and learned more about the Fitness Center and decided to go see him--right after Otis' mom made them a snack: chocolate sundaes with whipped cream!
(You get the feeling that Oscar and Otis might need to change their eating habits too?)
When they got to the gym, they saw people with big bellies, some small, old people and even girls! This doesn't seem right, they thought. They met Phineus then and explained their concern about Oscar's dad and that they wanted to get something to help him get skinny. So Phineus showed them around and even let them try some of the equipment.
Finally Oscar knew what to do, he would send his dad there one day to play on the machines and get healthy. But King Phineus told them that it would take longer than one day, but with the right program, diet and determination, anyone could lose weight!
When Oscar got home, he found his dad in the kitchen having a snack. He decided right then was the time to talk to him--and so he did! And his dad listened and, encouraged, decided to not only help himself, but also his son.
And soon both families began different types of exercises and diet programs. Oscar and Otis found that they had more energy and became involved with playing sports and activities with other kids.
The author is an American Council on Exercise Certified Personal Trainer and Weight and Lifestyle Management consultant. She notes that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has pointed out that over the past three decades the childhood obesity rate has more than doubled for preschool children and adolescents. It has more than tripled for children aged 6-11 (back cover).
Parents, grandparents, concerned adults--if you know of a child, or children, who is already beginning, or has a weight problem, please consider this book a must-read!