Marty's Nut-free Party by Katrina Roe and Leigh Hedstrom
Wombat Books, 2012. Hbk., RRP $A19.95. ISBN 978-1-921633-36-2.
Marty the monkey loved to party - he was always the first to arrive and the last to leave. He even counted down the sleeps till the next one! UNTIL . . . one day, at his cousin's birthday party he was tempted by a l-a-r-g-e bowl of peanuts. But as soon as he ate it, things began to happen. His mouth felt funny, his throat swelled up and that's all he knew until the next day when he woke up in hospital. Marty was allergic to peanuts!
So, at the next party he went to, his mummy told him not to have even one peanut - no matter how yummy they looked and who offered them to him. It was so hard to have fun when everyone else was enjoying eating them. So he decided to have just one . . . after all, mum would never know . . .
Marty had a very tough lesson to learn and his mum had to take some very tough measures to teach him. He couldn't go to Lion Luke's party and he missed Zac the Zebra's Easter Egg hunt! And even though he thought he hadn't eaten one single peanut at Gemma Giraffe's party, he still ended up in hospital. Poor Marty. Would he ever be able to have a party again?? And what about his birthday? Could he have a party? Luckily for him, his mum had a brilliant solution and Marty had a party that didn't land him in hospital!!
Marty's message is delivered in a most delightful story that helps our youngest students understand why nuts are so often banned from the places they go to. It also helps those with a nut allergy understand what could happen but there is a solution that means everyone can still have fun! It is essential reading for all preschool to Year 2 classes so everyone can understand the dangers.
I like that Wombat Books are prepared to take a risk with the titles they publish and support authors who write about topics that are not necessarily 'mainstream'. Sharon McGuinness' Coming Home deals with depression; this one nut allergies - both more common than we realise and yet so hard to find information about that is at the child's level. Both books have important information at the back of them with links to support agencies. For these reasons alone, regardless of both being excellent stories, these books deserve a place on your shelves. And check out Wombat's catalogue to see what else they have that might help your special students understand that they're not in it on their own.