Posted by Vicky on | October 23, 2011 | 1 Comment
Buying an appealing well written, beautifully illustrated children’s book that is focused around allergies can be tough. Explaining medical information and its encompassing necessity to a child can be tougher. This is where Bethany Tucker’s Jeremy the wallaby happily jumps into the scene!
Welcome to the world of Jeremy the wallaby – he is allergic to nuts and eggs. Of school going age, Jeremy is (with the help of his friends) negotiating through the reality of living with his allergies. He is also learning to accept and take responsibility for them. The joy of Jeremy’s character is that children will be able to easily identify with him. His issues, worries and frustrations are theirs too.
There are three books in the series – Jeremy’s Cake, Jeremy’s Magic School Day and Jeremy’s First School Camp. The books are set in Australia and Jeremy’s world consists of animals native to Australia who make-up his friends, and also his enemy in the form of Walter the hedgehog.
The books are cleverly set up, and aim to take the child through from pre-school so around age three, to about age nine. The first book Jeremy’s Cake centers around the importance of understanding which foods are safe, and of carrying a medical kit at all times. This book also introduces the concept of finding a responsible adult outside of the family to look after any meds. The opening sentence draws the reader in and sets a beautiful scene “Down near the billabong, amongst the wattle trees, everyone gathered for a party…”.
In the second book in the series Jeremy’s Magic School Day Jeremy has started school. He has more independence and is beginning to take responsibility for his allergies. He has a tough discussion to make when the magician hands out an unsuitable treat. The feel of the book is positive, and Jeremy is never left out due to his allergies. Sometime he has to be more patient than the others, but he is never excluded. There are important lessons for children with allergies in each of these books.
The final book in the series Jeremy’s First School Camp shows the beginning of childhood rebellion. Jeremy proves to be a tough little wallaby when he stands up to the colourful and central character of Walter the hedgehog. He has a brief spell of frustration but ultimately proves he can rise above any differences that he feels due to his allergies. His friends are accepting, and offer solid support in the story, as does his long-suffering mother.
Walter is introduced in the third story and he acts as the voice of self-doubt and frustration for Jeremy, and will certainly be an appealing character for the older children. It is through Walter that Jeremy stands-up and takes responsibility of his allergies. Walter is a fine example of a petty school bully, but his pivotal role in the story is really that of allowing Jeremy to come to terms with his allergies.
These are great books for parents who are looking to find a book that discusses the concept of allergies and all that they entail. The books repeat the importance of acceptance, and openly discuss the frustrations that a child can feel. The medical kit is mentioned and its importance is reinforced in every book. The Jeremy series grows with the reader, and will certainly help children with allergies understand the importance of avoidance, acceptance, and not to go anywhere without a medical kit.
Perhaps most importantly, this series is a great read.
These excellent books can be ordered from Activeaide along with specialist anaphylaxis and asthma products. They deliver to Singapore.