“The Diary of Cyril the Squirrel” by Lucy Wann aims to help children aged 3 to 7 come to terms with their nut allergy.
Cyril is allergic to nuts (which is clearly particularly unfortunate for a squirrel). His diary teaches nut allergic children to:
- Always carry their medication.
- Never swap food.
- Wear their medical bracelets.
- Check ingredients (and, in particular, check for themselves rather than take someone’s word that a food is nut free).
- Be comfortable with taking their own nut free food to parties.
The story also describes how Cyril and his family play “spot the nut” and his parents teach him what “clues” to look for, which will show that he is having an allergic reaction.
The story is certainly touching and I imagine it is very useful for school age children. When I tried to read it to my 2 1/2 -year-old son, it only held his attention for the first few pages. I will put it away for now and try again when he is a little older. It’s also printed as a booklet, rather than a book, so it’s a little flimsy for toddlers too.
If you would like a copy, it is sold through the Anaphylaxis Campaign website.
If anyone has any recommendations for other children’s books dealing with allergies, please post a comment below!