Children Have Diabetes Too - Learning Together As A Family.
Edited by Robert G. McArthur M.D. Illustrations by Audrey Mabee.
Grades 3 - 8 / Ages 8 - 13.
"Never use your diabetes as an excuse to keep you from doing all that you're capable of doing." - Bobby Clarke, Former NHL playerThe target group for Children Have Diabetes too - Learning Together As A Family is, as the title suggests, children with diabetes and their families. Through an entertaining and educational story of a boy named Mathew, who discovers that he has diabetes, the reader learns of the trials and tribulations of living life with this disease. The cause, diagnosis and management are all summarized for parents and interested adults.
This book was developed as a nonprofit venture by the staff of the Diabetes Clinic at Alberta Children's Hospital. All financial proceeds will go toward the development of programs for children with diabetes.
The story contributions come from a doctor, a clinical psychologist, a pediatric endocrinologist, a nurse, a dietician and a grade 5 student who provides the poem that ends the story. These many experts give the book a very exact picture of all the variables that a diabetic child might encounter.
The book enforces the idea that one can live happily and successfully with diabetes. It teaches children to remain healthy and look forward to a good future. It is meant to encourage diabetic children to do their part in managing the disease and to take responsibility for living a healthy and productive life.
The story of Mathew and his family is an excellent vehicle for telling the story of diabetes and its impact on family and friends. Mathew is observed going through many of the diabetic stages from the time when it is first discovered he is ill. He goes to the hospital and we see the tests that are done; we watch as he changes his diet habits and discover the range of emotions he feels. Special events in Mathew's life, like birthday parties, are described and demonstrate the subtle changes Mathew has to make. The emotions Mathew, and those around him, experience are clearly articulated for the reader giving excellent insight into why people act the way they do.
Of particular interest to parents are the Appendices. They contain the following information: history of diabetes, glossary of words, differences between insulin dependent and non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, nutrition and metabolism, and travelling with diabetes. All the factual information is here for a parent. Another positive aspect of this back section is the page entitled "Write us a letter." Parents and children are encouraged to write to the Diabetes Clinic asking questions or telling their own story about their encounter with diabetes. The Clinic promises to respond to all letters.
I recommend this book to anyone associated with diabetes. It has limited appeal to others, but is excellent for providing information to its target group. This book is in its third printing. For the next printing I would recommend they update their photos and illustrations.
Lorrie Ann Wannamaker is Vice-Principal at Sir Wilfred Laurier School, Hamilton, Ontario.
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Copyright © 1996 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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