*Link to Amazon for more information on this book below
One of the things that, as a former teacher, we always used to help communicate with students/children about difficult situations is literature. A good fiction story can put divorce, depression, and even death into a context children can understand. In my classroom, we once did use a chapter book to help students open up their own feelings after the death of a student in the school.
For that same reason, dealing with a disease, like Celiac, can create confusion and conflicts with children. Luckily, you can find some great non-fiction selections on helping children deal with Celiac, and of course, support groups like the Raleigh Cel-Kids can also help parents discuss difficult problems. But what about fiction? A good picture book would help so many families out. Well, we definitely know of at least two such books that should definitely reside in each Celiac home.
Eating Gluten Free With Emily, by Bonnie Kruszka, talks about a little girl who becomes sick, while no one can discover what ails her (sound familiar?). Eventually they settle on Celiac Disease and Emily and her family discuss how they eat gluten free, finding yummy thinks such as brownies at the store. They play ‘Gluten Detectives’ when out to dinner, asking wait staff if their fries are fried with anything. A nice story, especially when she meets a fellow Celiac at summer camp. You can find the book at Amazon:
How I Eat Without Wheat
How I Eat Without Wheat, by Karen Fine, introduces us to a little boy suffering from Celiac Disease. This book, while appropriate for all audiences, definitely is geared toward younger sufferers, in that the story relies on rhyming throughout. Not a lot of deep discussions of Celiac and how to live a full life with it, but more of an introductory story.
No More Cupcakes No More Tummy Aches
Finally, in No More Cupcakes, Tummy Aches by Jax Lowell, we are introduced to a young girl who really depicts some of the struggles of living gluten-free. At first, noticeable weight loss and lack of growing frustrate her, as she only wants to become a ballerina. So she does what most would do, eats more of the big kids cereal, since that will mean she will grow too. Her and her father also share a passion for cupcakes, each eating multiple at a sitting. This all leads her to more and more illness until she finally goes to the hospital for the Celiac diagnosis. Afterward, during holidays, she suffers with not being able to eat what all others eat, at school as well. This depresses her, until her mother finds, through the internet of course, stores selling gluten free products. She receives a treat: a box full of gf items including CUPCAKES. Over time, she grows, and well let you buy the book to find out if ballet is in her future!
Find it on Amazon at:
All three books definitely will help your children understand Celiac and see others who suffer from it. The point of all though, is that each of the characters continues to lead a normal life, just with some differences. As one states, Celiac is just one of the many things that makes her special. Good words to live by!