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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Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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