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Eating Gluten-Free with Emily: A Story for Children with Celiac Disease Hardcover – November, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1–Young Emily explains that when she was five, she was diagnosed with celiac disease, a lifelong digestive disorder. She cannot eat anything containing wheat, barley, or rye because she cannot digest the gluten. Her mom acknowledges the difficulties of the condition and tells her she is special because she can jump rope and paint, and also because she must eat gluten-free. Charming watercolor illustrations depict the child as she undergoes tests leading to her diagnosis, and as she goes to school, restaurants, and camp, where she encounters situations that can be difficult due to her illness. Information is presented in a friendly and straightforward manner. This kind and calming book never condescends, and will be a useful addition for parenting resource collections.–Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Bonnie J. Kruszka has a degree in chemistry and pre-medicine from Michigan State University. Currently she is pursuing a doctorate in nursing and plans to be a Nurse Practitioner in the field of family medicine. A dedicated advocate of celiac disease awareness, she and her family live in Cleveland, Ohio.

Richard S. Cihlar graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, with a bachelor of studio art. The recipient of several art awards, he lives in Avon, Ohio, where he hopes to own and operate an art gallery.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Woodbine House; 1st Woodbine House Ed edition (November 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890627623
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890627621
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 8.6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,795,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Eating Gluten-Free with Emily is a children's book that not only explains a gluten-free diet, but also details Emily's digestive symptoms and the route from doctor to blood draw to scope to get the diagnosis. The illustrations are colorful and cute. The story, which is told from Emily's perspective, explains celiac disease in a way that children understand, and gives examples of what foods contain gluten and which ones do not. Emily also explains how she deals with real-life situations, like camp and birthday parties. My favorite line in the book comes from Emily and her mom when they question restaurant staff: "We say, 'We are gluten detectives. Answer the questions, please.'" This book has been helpful to my family in two ways. My five year old daughter is autistic, and has been on a gluten free/casein free diet for four years, and it has given her twin brother and older sister a perspective of what a special diet is like for their sister. Additionally, my elder daughter is about to see a pediatric gastroenterologist, to rule out (or in?) celiac disease. This book has given us a wonderful opportunity to talk about the process of going to the doctor and making dietary changes. Seven year old Mikalea tells me she thinks this book is good because it shows that Emily is just a regular kid who needs to eat special food. Bridges4Kids Review by Penny Ray
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Format: Hardcover
I think this is a WONDERFUL book, appropriate for any child with food issues. My kids do not have gluten sensitivity/Celiac's disease, but they do have food intolerances.

This is the first book I've found that is perfect for both of their levels (4 and 8) and embraces that a way of eating is just one of many, many things that make you special. It shows Emily feeling sad because she's left out, or "different" and it shows her triumphing "Eating gluten free is healthy for me!" Rather than focusing on one small aspect (diagnosis, or trouble at school) or trying to explain the disease, this book just tells about a normal little girl, leading a normal life and the few things she has to do different because she has to be "Gluten Free".

One note, it does mention "diarrhea" which may make some kids giggle, or others embarressed to read in a group setting. This is only one page, attention is not drawn to it. The tests that Emily goes through for diagnosis are not described in detail.

We borrowed it from the library, have read it over and over and will be purchasing it. Thank you to the author for filling a much needed void in children's literature.
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Format: Hardcover
This book does a wonderful job of educating the youngest & oldest about Celiac's. It takes you through pre-diagnosis to living & managing the diet. My 2 year old loves to read about a little girl like herself who meets a little boy who also has Celiac's. She feels special everytime that we read it.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a preschool teacher and have a student with Celiac in my class as well as 3 other students with food allergies. I read this book and all of my students loved it! They have asked to hear it again and again. My gluten-free student actually had tears in his eyes the first time I read it and hugged me afterwards. All 15 of my students are aware of their classmates food allergies and this has been a springboard for discussion of all aspects of restricted eating. I highly reccomend this book for classroom use.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I needed something very simple for myself and my husband to understand Celiac Disease when our daughter was diagnosed. There are so many menu items that I don't even consider when she comes over. I needed a basic explanation and this was it. I can also feel more comfortable talking to my grandchildren about the subject.
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Format: Hardcover
Eating Gluten-Free With Emily: A Story for Children With Celiac Disease is a charming picturebook that uses simple words by author Bonnie J. Kruszak and Richard S. Cihlar's friendly color illustrations to tell the story of a young girl who learned at age five that her body couldn't properly digest foods with gluten in them. Since gluten is commonly found in wheat, barley, rye, and various foods made from these products, Emily must restrict her eating to special foods such as fruit, yogurt, chicken, and gluten-free breads and pastas. Emily learns to carry gluten-free snacks to enjoy when her fellow schoolmates are served a treat, and how to be a "gluten detective" at restaurants. "Celiac disease is only part of who I am, and eating like me, gluten-free, makes me special. What makes you special?" The friendly tone of Eating Gluten-Free With Emily will help adults answer the questions young people may have about Celiac disease or the need to avoid gluten products. Highly recommended for library collections as well as for families looking for a way to inform their children about this health condition. A list of resources for more information on Celiac disease and gluten-free diets is presented on the inside back cover of Eating Gluten-Free With Emily.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was looking for a book to read to/with children under five years old. This book has colourful pictures, not too much text, and really clear messages about being safe with food, looking after your own body & well-being, and how everyone is unique in different ways. I especially liked the inclusiveness of this story. Very well written and presented.
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