Editor’s Note: I’m thrilled to share with you a book I just reviewed for Children’s Literature about a boy with a peanut allergy. I’m adding this to my list of wonderful children’s books about food allergies. It’s written by Jessica Jacobs and illustrated by Jacquelyn Roslyn.
With two children in every classroom having a food allergy, The Peanut Pickle: A Story about Peanut Allergy is a must-read for kids with food allergies, their friends and those that care for them. Jacobs does a wonderful job explaining what having a peanut allergy means on a daily basis.
Ben is a six-year-old with a life-threatening allergy to peanuts. Not only can’t Ben eat anything with peanut in it, but he also can’t be near or touch anything with even the smallest peanut residue on it. Ben shows how he stays safe throughout his day.
When a friend wants to bring peanuts to the park, Ben asks him to leave them at home. When his cousin wants to bring peanut butter sandwiches over, they make pizza instead. When a teammate brings peanut butter granola bars to practice, Ben asks him to hand out snack after practice; they end up having lemonade instead. When his grandmother brings candy without an ingredient label, Ben explains why it isn’t safe.
Jacobs shows the very real scenarios in which children may encounter their food allergens and how they can stay safe by being careful and communicating.
While the “Top 8” food allergens in the United States are milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish, any food can be an allergen if the body reacts to it.
At the end of the book, Ben rides his skateboard, saying his peanut allergy is a part of him and goes wherever he goes, and that’s okay. It’s a beautiful ending for what is proving to be a very challenging topic for so many families.
With realistic pictures that illustrate the real emotions kids with food allergies experience, Roslyn hits a home run. Jacobs also offers five important rules for kids with peanut allergies, a note to parents, and seven guidelines for decreasing reaction risks.
You can find The Peanut Pickle on Amazon: Shop at Amazon.com! (affiliate link)
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Vector illustration by Pakhnyushcha/www.shutterstock.com.