Eddie Has a Food Allergy: A Book Review

I am a huge lover of reading! Almost every night before bed, you will find me snuggled up in a blanket with my nose buried in a book. One of my favorite things about reading is that books can take readers to faraway places, on exciting adventures, and maybe even help them learn a little more about others or themselves.

For the estimated 32 million American children who have food allergies, the right book can also be a tool for sharing their diagnosis with others and for learning how to thrive despite food allergies. Today, I’d like to share a new children’s picture book about food allergies authored by Jeni Polido and illustrated by QBN Studios, Eddie Has a Food Allergy: A Hullabaloo at the Midtown Zoo Story.

Image courtesy of Jeni Polido

This is a charming story about an elephant named Eddie, a newcomer to the Midtown Zoo that has a peanut allergy. Upon his arrival, Eddie is relieved to learn he is not the only animal in the zoo with allergies. Fran the flamingo has a shrimp allergy. Lionel the lion cub has a meat allergy. Arni the aardvark has an egg allergy. The exact thing Eddie feared might make him different is now the thing that is making him feel like one of the group. Together, with his new friends, Eddie delights in knowing that food allergy does not define them.

Image courtesy of Jeni Polido

Instead of lamenting their dietary limitations, these new friends celebrate the amazing things they can do. In turn, it inspires the reader to explore their own abilities and how they help them shine. With playful illustrations and a story that unfolds in a fun zoo setting, this children’s picture book offers the reader a wild adventure.

Image courtesy of Jeni Polido

The author, Jeni Polido, helps care for her two young grandsons for several days each week. Both boys have food allergies and as a self-published author twice over, she was drawn to the idea of creating a new story for the animals of Midtown Zoo. As she and her daughter researched food allergies, Polido was dismayed to learn about how many children with food allergies are bullied and tormented. She decided to counteract the potential bullying her grandsons could one day face by building their self-esteem with Eddie and his friends and their realizations that they are so much more than the food allergies they have been diagnosed with.

Polido is one example of a growing number of individuals looking to make food allergies a comfortable topic of conversation between parents, their children, and others via children’s literature. (By entering the term “book” in the search bar on my blog, you can find a list of other book reviews I have done.) This growing community is taking steps to help individuals that have food allergies bridge the gap within families, classrooms, churches, and other organizations.

“To other aspiring children’s book authors,” Polido says, “I say, ‘Go for it!’ I wrote this book with only the hope to empower, inform, and delight and I am humbled and gratified when others tell me it resonates with them and their children.”

To connect with Polido on Instagram, visit @hullabaloo stories.


Nicholas’ Nut-Free Christmas: A Book Review

Recently, new author Danielle Lynn reached out to see if she could send me a copy of her first book, Nicholas’ Nut-Free Christmas. I was thrilled for the opportunity to read it. I love to read and have read to my children as they’ve grown up so I’m almost always up for a good read.

The bonus about this children’s book is that it also addresses food allergies, and in an incredibly positive manner. Lynn’s book focuses on a third-grade boy named Nicholas who has food allergies and is facing some significant challenges as Christmas quickly approaches including a class party and a visit to grandma’s.

In my opinion, what makes Nicholas’ story special is his attitude. We all, those with and without food allergies, face challenges in life. It is simply a part of life. The secret to handling those difficulties is our attitude toward them. This is something Nicholas has a remarkable handle on and it is a lesson I think many children with food allergies can benefit from hearing. His actions can empower readers to take control of a food allergy situation in a positive manner without letting it become a hindrance in how they live their lives.

In each challenge the young boy faces, he actively problem solves to find a way past the trial. He does not focus on the unfairness of the situation or let it dictate how he lives his best life. I stinkin’ love that. This kid just sees a bump in the road and sets out to fix it without ever looking back. Even as an adult, this is a lesson I need to be reminded of from time to time.

As a side note, although the book is geared toward Christmas, I do think it would be a good read year round as the situations Nicholas faces are indicative of many different holidays and even everyday situations.

If you are looking for a positive read to share with a child with food allergies, friends of a child with food allergies, a school classroom, or a library, I highly recommend Danielle Lynn’s Nicholas’ Nut-Free Christmas. The book is a breath of fresh air in tackling a serious problem with a healthy measure of positivity and a double dose of a can-do attitude.

Disclaimer: I was not financially compensated for this review and the thoughts within this post reflect my honest thoughts and opinions.

New Look for The Food Allergy Mom Blog

The Food Allergy Mom blog has brand new look!!!

Although the blog has been updated and reformatted, our mission remains the same: offering a positive, common-sense approach for daily life for those with food allergies and asthma.

Be sure to click around to see some of our new features.

As always, we know your time is valuable, so thank you for choosing to spend it with us.


Stephanie Sorkin’s Am I A Unicorn?: A Book Review

For almost a decade, I have been a fan of author Stephanie Sorkin. She is an award-winning author of multiple adorable children’s books and my own family has enjoyed reading them all (although I must say Nutley, the Nut-Free Squirrel is a favorite). So, you can imagine my delight when Stephanie debuted her new book, Am I A Unicorn?

This newest book features a young unicorn who is comfortable in her own skin until her outer appearance changes in a very prominent way. What is a unicorn to do when the thing that she associates so much of her identity with is suddenly not the same? Is she still a unicorn?

I think all of us suffered a bit of an identity crisis of our own in 2020. Our occupations, extra-curricular activities, clubs, and organizations that are huge pieces of our identities pretty much ceased to exist in the ways we’d grown accustomed to. From this we were challenged to examine if those things are what truly make us who we are, kind of like the lead character in Sorkin’s newest book. Talk about impeccable timing.

Stephanie does a beautiful job of walking the reader through the unicorn’s thought process as she tries to rediscover what makes her the best her she can be. The plot line and words are brilliant at engaging young children and the colorful and whimsical illustrations only add to the overall feel of this precious book.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that young readers will be thrilled to find a recipe for “YOUnique Rainbow Cupcakes” at the end of the book. Any book that can combine story and activity time is a winner in my book, especially when many of us are still cooped up inside. Add to that a portion of the book’s proceeds are donated to charities that benefit children, and what’s not to love?

As we emerge from the year of isolation that was 2020, there has never been a more perfect time to get to know and celebrate the person you are inside. Yes, our children have been transformed by the pandemic in dozens of different ways, but to be different is okay because as Sorkin says on the opening page of Am I A Unicorn?, “Wouldn’t the world be a boring place if we were all the same?”

Make your next storytime with the kids extra special with this sweet book. Happy reading and stay safe, my friends.