Review Blog

Nov 20 2012

Marty's Nut-Free Party by Katrina Roe

cover image

Wombat Books, 2012. ISBN: 9781921633362.
Recommended for children aged 3 and above. Party animal, Marty the Monkey, loved nothing more than going to parties. At each he'd arrive early and leave late. His favourite treat at every party was the big bowl of nuts that always seemed to be present. Unfortunately for Marty, whenever he ate peanuts, he would get sick . . . so sick, in fact that he ended up in hospital. When the Doctor told him he was allergic to peanuts, Marty thought the Doctor was just being mean. Despite his promises to his mum, when Marty went to Emma's party he decided his mum would never find out if he ate just one peanut. Of course, the naughty little monkey again woke up to find himself in hospital. After being banned from attending any more parties and missing several, Marty finally convinced his mum to let him go to Gemma's birthday party. Although he did the right things and ate the food his mum had packed for him, he ate a piece of cake. Even the trace of nuts Marty must have eaten saw him again return to hospital. When his mother finally throws Marty his very own nut-free birthday party, his friends decide that there really is no party without Marty and all of their parties in future could be nut-free to ensure that he can attend.
Although I found this book to be somewhat didactic, perhaps for young children it would appear to be less so. The illustrations are bright, stylised and simple and certainly give the story a lot of appeal. Certainly, it revolves around an important issue and, with so many children in schools suffering from various allergies, would be an asset to any classroom or library. Teachers would undoubtedly be grateful for such a simple tale to use as a starting point for discussion with Junior Primary classes and it should fit into a health program with ease.
Jo Schenkel

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