By: Sally Huss with Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino
Publication Date: March 2020
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Jack never wanted to be the center of attention, but in the informative children's book, A Lesson for Every Child: Learning about Food Allergies, he does just that so that he can teach the other students in his class all about food allergies.
A Lesson for Every Child begins with a brief introduction to Mrs. Emerson, a wonderful teacher who loves learning and sharing. Turn the page and we see Mrs. Emerson meeting a new student - Jack. While she reads his file, Jack sits quietly in a chair, a bit scrunched up in the hopes of not being too visible to his neighbors. He really, really doesn't want to be the center of attention.
After reading Jack's file, Mrs. Emerson announces to her class, "We have an extraordinary opportunity to learn something new. And Jack here is going to be our teacher. His parents have given permission for him to tell us about it." Oh, boy, Jack really doesn't want to do this...but then...
Mrs. Emerson explains to her class that Jack knows something that they all need to know. That caught Jack's attention and he quickly sits up and it sure looks like there is a smile on his face. Mrs. Emerson tells the class that Jack has food allergies and he would be the best one to explain just what that means.
Jack, happy that he knows something the other children don't, begins his explanation of food allergies. The class is enraptured with his words and ask many questions. It would be a day that the kids wouldn't soon forget.
A Lesson for Every Child tackles a topic that many children (and adults!) deal with every day (per the text, six million American children face food allergies). The children in the story ask many probing questions, questions that the reader will be wondering about too. The authors also tackle something that seems to get glossed over much too often - how the child who has the food allergy (or allergies) feels about being "different." With simple, bright illustrations that convey the children's feelings perfectly, young readers will enjoy learning about what food allergies are and how those who have such allergies deal with them. At the back of the book is a page with some information on food allergies, as well as a link to FoodAllergyAwareness.org where readers can learn more. This is an excellent book that should find its way into all school libraries as well as be shared with both those youngsters who have food allergies and those who have never heard of such things.
Quill says: A Lesson for Every Child is a fun book that will open the eyes of many children to the challenges of food allergies.
For more information on A Lesson for Every Child: Learning About Food Allergies, please visit the author's website at: www.elizabethguarino.com