EPPIE THE ELEPHANT
(Who Was Allergic to Peanuts)
By: Livingstone Crouse
Illustrated by: Steve Brown
Published: August 7, 2018
Publisher: Silver Dolphin
Food allergies are becoming more and more common and schools are making accommodations to make sure children with allergies are safe. Some schools are going completely “nut free” like our school or have “nut-free zones” as in the book EPPIE THE ELEPHANT.
Eppie doesn’t want her allergy to peanuts to be something that other kids tease her about so she is very nervous about her first day of school. An elephant allergic to peanuts is quite the oddity. Eppie makes fast friends with Allie the Alligator and Pearl the Squirrel until lunch-time. Then Eppie’s secret is revealed when Pearl takes out the peanuts she brought to lunch and Allie starts eating her peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Eppie has to sit at the nut-free table and worries that she may have lost her new friends forever.
Even though this book focuses on peanut allergies, the story can apply to children with any allergies, medical conditions, or differences that might make it necessary for them to separated or singled out from the other students. By pointing out that Eppie is still a great classmate and friend and encouraging ways to make Eppie feel comfortable at lunchtime, this book offers a great example for children to follow.
Livingstone Crouse takes a situation that can be full of anxiety and teaches children how to handle it. His rhyming verse pattern is creative and makes the story fun to read aloud. Brown’s illustrations show the discomfort Eppie feels and the curiosity of her friends as well as the joy when they are playing together. The color scheme of the story is bright and the pictures are engaging enough for non-readers to follow along as well.
This is a book that parents of children with allergies should give to their child’s teacher. The light-hearted approach will allow the children to feel more comfortable and understanding of this important issue. This book is written for lower elementary level children.
Livingstone Crouse has spent the last twenty years either selling, editing, or writing books for children. He’s even done all three at once! So recently he decided he’d focus entirely on writing the kinds of books he likes to read, books in verse that are filled with heart, wordplay, and lots of laughs – books like this one. Crouse lives in a 200-year-old farmhouse in New York’s Hudson Valley with his husband and a dog named Kat. Check out my review of his book KISSES FOR KINDERGARTEN, HERE.
Steve Brown is a freelance children’s illustrator from Kent, England. He has drawn since he can remember. Steve grew up with the best cartoons from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s – which have been a big influence on his animated style. You will find Steve in his studio at his home, down at the bottom of the garden overlooking fields and trees, occasionally being bugged by a cat that wants to sit on his lap and generally gets in the way.
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