ORWELL - - Grand Valley Elementary School was full of tall tales last week as Ohio author Rick Sowash paid a visit.

Sowash writes books about Ohio for children. One book, "Ripsnorting Whoppers," is about tall tales concerning Ohio, while "Critters Flitters and Spitters," is about animals native to the state and "Heroes," is about heroes from Ohio.

"I'm trying to show if the kids like hearing a story the would like reading a story," Sowash said.

Sowash spent the day at the elementary school autographing his books and eating lunch with the students, after two assemblies were he discussed tall tales.

"Tall tales are not true," Sowash told the students. "They are made up just for fun.

Sowash, who was very animated and made the students laugh, told them a story about Isaac, a pioneer living in Ohio.

One story took place in Wild Cat Hollow, where the soil is so good everyone was afraid to plant anything, Sowash said. A cucumber seed grew to gigantic proportions.

What saved the day was a summer snow storm that froze the cucumber, Sowash said. He then told a tale about kittens born wearing sweaters, because the mother cat ate yarn as a kitten.

Later in the evening, Sowash attended the Family Literacy Night event and read to students and families. Sowash, who lives in Cincinnati, visits about 75 schools a year, he said.

- - LISA DAVIS - Staff Writer

Star Beacon Print Edition: 3/13/2007

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