This little book, Epic Ellie and the Invisible Dragon – A Book About Allergies for Kids and Their Caregivers, really covers it all for the reader—kids, parents, caregivers, and teachers alike. It is very apparent that the author, Sheralyn Roman, has lived this journey deeply, and wrote this adorable book from a very special place, the heart of a mother.
Her research, attention to detail, and refreshing storytelling style leaves you wanting to read more.
Epic Ellie and the Invisible Dragon will serve as an excellent education tool in so many ways; encouraging dialogue at home and school about this often scary and serious subject, equipping us all with a better understanding of how we can help if we know someone with allergies, and most importantly, empowering kids who have them.
Enjoy my interview with Sheralyn:
What inspired you to write this book?
My motivation has been my daughter and some of the experiences we have had as a family. There have been occasions when she was excluded from things, and we’ve had many problematic experiences at restaurants. Overall, I would say we have felt a definite lack of empathy and/or understanding of the actual severity of anaphylactic allergies.
However, I am also inspired daily by caring individuals who go the extra mile, so this book is a sincere desire to acknowledge those who support our community as well. Ultimately, the main goal of the book is to help, in some small way, to educate. I hope to help kids (and adults too) understand how anyone can be a STAR.
My goal in writing this book was to portray allergies in a more positive light. I want kids to understand that they are not sick, but rather, they are unique because of who and how special they are. Like the book says, “I’m unique because of me, not because of my allergy!”
What do you want others to gain from your book?
The focus is simply to gain a little more knowledge about allergies, why the risks are real and, more importantly, how to help—to be a part of the solution and empowering ALL children.
This book is primarily geared toward teachers at the elementary school level and to helping allergic children understand how to stay safe wherever they are. It’s about empowerment and can be used as a tool by parents to assist a newly diagnosed child. It can also be read by caregivers and the community at large, to assist the friends of allergic children to comprehend the vital role they too can play in keeping a friend stay safe.
What was your creative process for this project?
The seed of this book has been germinating for years. This publication is actually draft number 11! That just goes to show that the creative process is occasionally quite a long one. The challenge was the target age group and creating something that would both catch their attention and be educational and entertaining at the same time. Like Goldilocks and her search for the perfect bowl of porridge, it took a long time to get it just right.
Why did you choose the story-telling format you used?
I really wanted to reach out to children just starting their elementary school adventure and help those in the primary grades to know and understand allergies. A picture book was really the best way to draw the attention of my target audience, even though the subject matter is pretty heavy. Choosing the fairy-tale format seemed an appropriate way to reach all children. Ultimately, it’s a message about empowerment and inclusivity for all.
What’s next for you as an author?
While writing this book I have also been working on another one called the ABC’s of Allergies, geared toward even younger children. I’m about half way through the alphabet! At the moment, I am also contemplating writing about the experience of serious illness too, as my daughter now has Crohn’s Disease. I’m not kidding when I say she is a brave and beautiful girl who inspires me daily.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I am writing a book for adults, loosely titled, Essays About Nothing and Everything: Random Rumblings from Suburbia.
Huge congratulations to Sheralyn for keeping the dream alive of one day writing a book that would bring to light the many challenges of being a kid with allergies; yet, uniquely, at the same time emphasizing all the possibilities that await them as well. And it’s exciting to see what else is on the horizon . . .
You can learn more and pick up a copy of Epic Ellie the Invisible Dragon right here in the I C Bookstore.
When you’re born to write, you’re born to write!
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