As you can see, this isn't just any coloring book. Those are my sons' faces on there! That's because my kids are the stars of the show in these fully customizable coloring books! You provide your child's name (hidden on mine to keep them anonymous), picture, and their allergies, and My Kids Food Allergies will send you a fun coloring book designed to help kids navigate parties when they're worried about their allergies.
In the book, your child gets invited to a birthday party. He or she is thrilled to attend, but worried about whether they'll be able to participate in the food rituals because of their allergies. At the party, they discover that other kids have food allergies too, and the FA kids agree to stick together and look out for one another. In the end, they find out how great it is to be included in everything.
The boys loved seeing themselves in a story! Kal insisted that I modify the other names in the book (the birthday girl, the other kids at the party) to match his friends. I hardly got through the book because he wanted to examine the pages in great detail.
Of course, he asked me to color him like Batman. That goes without saying. Kal is always playing Batman.
|See the Bat Symbol and Bat Belt?|
Zax thought this was pretty cool too. He thought the story was neat, and said it was awesome that the book knew what he was allergic to!
|The lighting's bad, I closed the drapes after this.|
Sorry for the poor quality.
He was quick to point out how his life was different from the book, though (there aren't really any other kids in my class with allergies, are there?)
When I asked Zax whether he had ever felt the same way as his character in the book, he said "no." I think this was because I've never sent him to a party unprepared. He always knows he'll have my cupcake, and that the food will be safe (as in the one party where he went solo) or I will approve all other food first. Zax didn't get hung up on this, though, because when I asked him if there was anything he didn't like about the book, he said "no." He liked it all!
So how did I like the book?
Things I liked:
- I liked the food allergy kids deciding to look out for each other--a great lesson in positive peer relationships!
- I liked that my kids were part of the story.
- I liked the quality of the books--they were very well made, both in terms of high-quality materials and in the editing job of my kids' photos. They looked great!
- I liked the length. Most of our coloring books lay abandoned after only a few pages get colored. At six pages, the story is a good length and most kids (who are into coloring) have the persistence to color six pages.
- I liked that my kids felt a personal connection to the story because it was personalized for them.
- I liked the pictures, especially the angry cake.
- I liked that this story helped allergic kids recognize that they aren't alone.
Things that made me go "hmm":
- I wondered if they would change the story text for allergens that are not commonly found in cake, icing, or toppings (like fish, shellfish, mustard, etc, especially if that's the child's only allergy) because worrying that shellfish is in cake might seem a little silly.
- I thought that sending a child with food allergies to a party without a plan for food was unusual. It certainly wouldn't happen in our house. Which isn't to say that kids won't benefit from reading about food allergy kids who band together, because they will. And also isn't to say that our kids are always paying attention to the preparations we make--anyone else feel ignored by their kids sometimes? (I mentioned this to My Kids Food Allergies, so I don't know if they'll be modifying it for the sale copy.)
My Kids Food Allergies is now selling this coloring book here. You can get a spiral-bound book like I received, or you can order a digital copy that you can print yourself. If you'd like a personalized book to help you talk about food allergies in social situations with your kiddos, I encourage you to check them out!
Note: I received two copies of the coloring book to share with my kids, and digital copies as well. Other than that, I received no compensation from My Kids Food Allergies for this review. All opinions are my own.