Eppie the Elephant (who was allergic to peanuts)
Author: Livingstone Crouse
Illustrator: Steve Brown
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books, 2018
Eppie the Elephant is starting school and she’s got one major rule she won’t forget: NO PEANUTS. You see, Eppie is allergic to peanuts. She’s a bit worried about this allergy. She wonders if the other children will laugh at her or know that she is different. She does make friends, but the moment of truth comes at lunch time. Eppie is “pointed to a lone, distant seat.” Her friends are not aware of her allergy and bring things like pb&j sandwiches and bags of peanuts. So there she sits, all alone, singled out, and sad.
Spoiler: There is a nice ending to this story and honestly, I think it is very realistic. Most children are very accepting of their friends’ food allergies. Their parents, however, are another matter.
One of my children has a peanut allergy. I can still remember how my child, the lone one in the class, had to forgo all the wonderful birthday treats because they were not allergy-friendly. (I did send in some nut-free crackers for the teacher to keep on hand, but let’s be real. How can a cracker compare with a wonderfully frosted cupcake? Later, the school stopped allowing edible birthday treats.) When I worked in preschool, there were several students with peanut allergies. By my preschool days, we were inspecting snacks (there were some severe allergies) and any child who brought in anything with nuts had their snack confiscated and had to be content with Saltines. Yet there were always parents who would forget and not even check what they were sending. Daily.
I think this is a great book for sharing. The message is important, but told in a way that is not preachy. The illustrations are adorable. I just want to cuddle Eppie! And don’t forget to check out the end papers. It certainly gives a new picture of what life can be like with an allergy.
*Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.