Monday, September 10, 2012


It’s that time of year again … the beginning of school.  As a parent of a young daughter with a severe peanut allergy it is always a period of anxiety as you hope your child won’t be exposed to a life-threatening situation while she’s out of your care.  Two of my wife & I’s biggest concerns are parents bringing in snacks for the kids that aren’t safe or a friendly classmate sharing their lunch not understanding the risks that eating the wrong thing could present to our child. 

Sharon Chisvin has written a cute book addressing peanut allergies that I would recommend every class room, day care, and public library that has a children’s circle time keep on their reading list.  THE GIRL WHO CANNOT EAT PEANUT BUTTER may be a short read at 19 pages but it has a big message in helping children understand that their friends with food allergies need them to be considerate and it isn’t something to tease about.  Charming sketches by illustrator Carol Leszcz and prose by Chisvin that is portrayed in rhyme makes the book an enjoyable and educational read for youngsters as well as for those who are young at heart.

I’ve often found that people consider food allergies at the same level as nasal allergies like hay fever.  Many people just don’t understand how easily it is for someone to die or be seriously hurt by going into anaphylactic shock from a food allergy reaction because they think it will just cause a runny nose or a rash.  So I was a little concerned by the warning given in the book about if Sam, THE GIRL WHO CANNOT EAT PEANUT BUTTER, was to have an allergic reaction:

If Sam ate peanuts she wouldn’t feel well
Her tummy would hurt and her tongue might swell
Her eyes would get itchy and her throat would scratch
And she might break out in a terrible rash

Despite that critique, I thought of the audience this book is aimed at preschool to grade school children and realized that you don’t want to scare these kids but rather inform them on being considerate to that girl of boy who is unique in their class.  I also appreciated the underlying theme of the book that everyone is unique in some way and being different isn’t bad because it can provide benefits like “those tasty lunches she always brings …

Peanut allergies are on the rise and it is more and more likely that if you are a parent, teacher, or caregiver of young children you are going to encounter difficulties created by food allergies.  The best way to handle these situations is with compassion and consideration, a message shared in this book, which is why as a peanut allergy dad I highly recommend it as a learning tool for children and the adults who care for them.

You can purchase THE GIRL WHO CANNOT EAT PEANUT BUTTER on as a paperback book for $9.95  or for Kindle at $3.95:

I received a complimentary copy of THE GIRL WHO CANNOT EAT PEANUT BUTTER to review but the thoughts and opinions in this book review are my own.

For more information on Peanut Allergies please watch this video featuring children's allergy specialist Devang Doshi from Beaumont Health System:

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