We just read, The Princess and the Peanut Allergy by Wendy McClure (see the book’s listing on Amazon). The story centers around two best friends, Paula and Regina. Regina has an upcoming birthday party planned to the last detail including a nut-laden cake and peanut butter candy. Paula is allergic to peanuts, which causes some problems for Regina. The girls have an argument that is ultimately resolved when Regina realizes that having her nut-filled cake may compromise her friendship with Paula. And, Regina surprises her friend by ordering her birthday cake nut-free.
This is an interesting book because it’s told from the perspective of a child who does NOT have food allergies. The princess and pea analogy used to enlighten Regina works as a way of explaining that even the smallest bit of peanut could be extremely harmful to someone who is allergic to them. Importantly, the book addresses some of the social issues that can arise from having a food allergy and helps articulate conflict resolution in an age-appropriate way.
I had been concerned my son might not relate to the content of this book given that a) he’s a boy and b) he has multiple food allergies, not just peanuts. But, I watched as I read Paula’s part of the dialogue. My son was nodding and pointing to himself, relating to her situation and dilemma. In fact, once we finished, he said, “You know, sometimes it’s hard having a food allergy. It’s can be so disappointing when you can’t eat something that looks yummy. And it feels unfair when everyone else can have it.” His emotional awareness made me proud, although it makes me sad he even has to deal with food allergies in the first place.
We plan on using this book to read to my son’s elementary school class this week. I’ll report on the results of our talk later this week!
(Thank you in advance! A portion of the proceeds of affiliate links go toward AllergyStrong.org – an organization aimed at helping at risk families with food allergies.)