A helpful book for readers seeking to better understand the physical and emotional challenges of EoE.

Macaroni Isn't The Same Without Cheese


Yuan and Rotter’s (Eating Isn’t Always Easy, 2012) short book about eosinophilic esophagitis is a creative resource for elementary school–aged children dealing with a complicated medical condition.

Danny is a seemingly typical 7-year-old boy. He likes sports and video games, has lots of friends, and finds his older sister to be somewhat annoying. However, Danny also has EoE, an allergic inflammatory condition that causes him to choke on food and often throw up. Diagnosis takes time, and establishing which types of food trigger Danny’s condition is the most difficult part of it. The boy must eliminate many different foods from his diet, including some of his favorites, and also avoid sharing his friends’ food. At one point, he has to go on an “elemental” diet, in which he consumes a special drink and slowly reintroduces other foods to determine what specifically makes him sick. It’s a difficult process for the youngster, but his family is supportive; he also works with a psychologist who helps him deal with his feelings of frustration and sadness. Finally, his doctors determine which foods Danny needs to avoid. Although he can’t eat ice cream or cheese, his parents help him find other options, and he feels much better. Danny narrates the story, which will allow young readers to experience his journey firsthand. The authors are highly qualified to pen this book: Yuan is a pediatric gastroenterologist and Rotter, a pediatric psychologist. Their stated goal with this story is to help children with EoE better understand their condition and feel less alone. To that end, the text is well-written, informative, and age-appropriate. Danny is a very relatable character who’s honest about the challenges of living with EoE—there are struggles, but he’s still able to lead a normal life. Rotter’s full-color drawings helpfully portray Danny’s world, depicting everything from his doctor appointments and medical tests to his longing for certain foods and anger over dietary restrictions.

A helpful book for readers seeking to better understand the physical and emotional challenges of EoE.

Pub Date: May 21, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4949-8300-0

Page Count: 86

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder.

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After being home-schooled for years, Auggie Pullman is about to start fifth grade, but he’s worried: How will he fit into middle school life when he looks so different from everyone else?

Auggie has had 27 surgeries to correct facial anomalies he was born with, but he still has a face that has earned him such cruel nicknames as Freak, Freddy Krueger, Gross-out and Lizard face. Though “his features look like they’ve been melted, like the drippings on a candle” and he’s used to people averting their eyes when they see him, he’s an engaging boy who feels pretty ordinary inside. He’s smart, funny, kind and brave, but his father says that having Auggie attend Beecher Prep would be like sending “a lamb to the slaughter.” Palacio divides the novel into eight parts, interspersing Auggie’s first-person narrative with the voices of family members and classmates, wisely expanding the story beyond Auggie’s viewpoint and demonstrating that Auggie’s arrival at school doesn’t test only him, it affects everyone in the community. Auggie may be finding his place in the world, but that world must find a way to make room for him, too.

A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder. (Fiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-375-86902-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2011

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Energetic and earnest but not groundbreaking.


Unlikely friends Bear and Rabbit face fears together.

The anthropomorphic creatures set out on an adventure. Graphic-based illustrations give the book a Pixar movie feel, with a variety of page layouts that keep the story moving. Large blocks of black text are heavy on dialogue patterns as timid Bear and bold Rabbit encounter obstacles. Bear fears every one of them, from the stream to the mountain. He’ll do anything to avoid the objects of terror: taking a bus, a train, and even a helicopter. As Rabbit asks Bear if he’s frightened, Bear repeatedly responds, “I’m not scared, you’re scared!” and children will delight in the call-and-response opportunities. Adults may tire of the refrain, but attempts to keep everyone entertained are evident in asides about Bear's inability to brush food from his teeth (he’s too afraid to look at himself in the mirror) and Rabbit's superstrong ears (which do come in handy later). When Rabbit finds herself in danger after Bear defects on the adventure, Bear retraces the trip. Along the way, he notes that the stream wasn't as deep, nor the mountain as high, as he thought when he was scared. While picture-book shelves may not be screaming for another comedically sweet bear story, especially one that treads such familiar territory, many readers will appreciate this tale of overcoming fears. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Energetic and earnest but not groundbreaking. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35237-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Flamingo Books

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2022

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