One of the fun things I get to do in my spare time, is be part of the medical advisory board for KidsWithFoodAllergies.Org. Even better, is that I get the best job ever: reviewing cookbooks and children’s books. Finding good children’s books on food allergy is surprisingly hard. Often, the medical facts are wrong or the tone of the story makes the allergic kid out to be sad & crying in their bedroom after school or lamenting their allergies & being excluded. There are some that are good stories, but the characters are all animals and kinda hard to relate to in real life (“Mom, do they make extra big Epi-Pens for elephants? How big is the needle for an elephant?”)
Recently, I was sent a copy of “Yes I Can!: Have My Cake and Food Allergies Too by Julie Wethington, illustrated by Lang Wethington. My daughter read the book first, and said…”Mom, that’s totally Jack’s book!”. I was busy & didn’t get around to reading it. Pretty soon, Jack was talking about “Jack’s book”, but I still never sat down to read it. Then one night, he pulled it off the shelf all dog-eared & requested it for bedtime reading. Sure enough, it is Jack’s book.
The “Jack” in the book, has allergies to dairy, egg and nut and happens to look just like our Jack. The book family does normal stuff like we do: read labels in the grocery aisle while Jack tries to escape the grocery cart, pack lunches for the museum, eat picnics on our travels, buy safe rocket pops from the ice cream truck and have friends over for burgers and chocolate cake. Most importantly, the theme is positive! It’s about “Yes I can” and focuses on all the things allergic kids can do & eat. And funniest of all, the parents in the book look just like us: mom sports a brown pony tail and dad…uh, saves a lot of money at the barbershop.
So Julie Wethington, if you’re out there…you rocked this fantastic story. And Lang Wethington, I have no idea how to managed to draw our family…but thank you! The book can be found on Amazon and is a great addition to your bookshelf. Our copy has found its way into the standard bedtime reading pile.
So crazy, this looks just like us. We even have trucks on our doorstep!