Review: Peanut by Ayun Halliday


Peanut by Ayun Halliday and Paul Hoppe

When Sadie heads to a new school once again, she comes up with a grand plan.  She orders a medical bracelet online and pretends to have a severe peanut allergy.  Using this strategy, she does make some friends, including finding a boyfriend.  However, the fake peanut allergy continues to be a problem, especially if she slips up and just eats a chip cooked in peanut oil.  As it becomes more and more a focus of her life, she thinks about telling the truth to her friends.  But it’s too late to come clean, because they would hate her for lying to them.  This graphic novel steadily counts down to the disaster that readers will know is coming, creating tension laced with humor.

Halliday has created a character that we can all relate to.  Sadie lies to make friends, her strange solution to being the new girl actually works.  Sadie is insecure and as she grows in self-esteem the trap she finds herself in starts to tighten.  She is a wonderful imperfect character, scolding her new boyfriend, lying to her mother, and of course lying to everyone at school.  But through it all, she is likeable and universal.

Hoppe’s illustrations are done in black and white lines with Sadie’s sweater being a pop of red against the more subtle coloring.  His drawings are fresh feeling and dynamic, often going for the laugh especially when the drama gets thick. 

Perfect for those teens who enjoy Raina Telgemeier’s books, this graphic novel is filled with humor and tension.  Appropriate for ages 12-15.

Reviewed from copy received from Schwartz & Wade.

Review: The Princess and the Peanut by Sue Ganz-Schmitt

princess and the peanut

The Princess and the Peanut by Sue Ganz-Schmitt, illustrated by Micah Chambers-Goldberg

Food allergies are booming in children today with nearly six million children in the U.S. suffering from food-related allergies.  Here allergies are merged into a fairy tale world to nice effect.  When a prince despairs of finding his perfect princess, a princess appears on his doorstep looking for shelter from the storm.  To test to see if the princess is indeed real, the queen places a peanut between her tower of mattresses.  But this princess doesn’t have trouble sleeping, instead she awakens with an allergic reaction!

Following the storyline of The Princess and the Pea, this book skillfully and with effective humor tells the story of having an allergic reaction and what should be done.  It is a book that reflects what children today are dealing with and also supports children who have allergies.  The book also has a question and answer section on allergies for adults and a glossary for kids.

The illustrations have the feel of an animated film with dramatic lighting, interesting perspectives, and touches of humor.  They will be an inviting style for children, who will enjoy the juxtaposition of modern allergies and fairy tale themes.

Make sure to check out Ganz-Schmitt’s first book that was about diabetes: Even Superheroes Get Diabetes.  Both books have a charm and an honesty about medical situations that children are dealing with.  Appropriate for ages 4-7.

Reviewed from copy received from Raab Associates.