February 26, 2011

Gluten Free Betsy Bookclub: Cilie Yack Is Under Attack!

Last year around St. Patrick's Day, the Southside Celiac Group that I am a part of had a guest speaker at our meeting. The speaker, Caryn Talty, is the editor of Health Family, a website dedicated to "staying healthy in the modern world."  She was a fantastic speaker and gave a wonderful presentation on the benefits of coconut flour.

When I saw she wrote and illustrated a children's book late last year, I couldn't be happier for her.  I was also excited to read it.  Cilie Yack is Under Attack: A story about a boy with celiac disease is about an Irish boy named Cilie who is nine years old and living with celiac disease.  The book is a chapter book for children at a 4th grade reading level and is told from Cilie's point of view.  Described as "a story about how one boy triumphs against all odds...", Cilie touches on his life prior to being diagnosed, his relationships with his family and friends, life at school, Irish culture, and much more.

Cilie have a gluten reaction.
The book has so many situations in which readers, especially children, can relate.  Difficulty at school, attending birthday parties, giving into temptation and unfortunately, gluten's painful reactions.  What's so great about this story is that not only does Cilie come to terms with having to be on a strict gluten free diet, but he also aspires to do something more about it.  At the age of 9, Cilie researches his disease at the library and even experiments with gluten free baking.  With his new found knowledge of celiac facts and gluten free baking, he starts up a Sous Chef Cooking Club for the other children in his neighborhood who are gluten free or have other food allergies.

This book was a joy to read.  I found Cilie to be adorable and very realistic.  His constant rambling and getting off topic is exactly like children I know.  He's so filled with knowledge of celiac disease at his young age, and it's so sweet to see him not only "deal with it", but to help other kids going through the same thing.  He's such a likable character, and what's even better is that there is a real life, Cilie Yack Sous Chef Club For Kids!

Author, Caryn Talty, not only knew of the importance of writing this book for her son, but also that there be a place for kids with food allergies to get together and learn to cook gluten/allergy free and have the support from each other.  With more and more kids being diagnosed with celiac, gluten intolerance, or a food allergy, it's pretty common for more than one student in a classroom to be on a special diet.  Not only that, but it's also very challenging for grade school kids to participate and feel accepted when food is being served.  Pizza parties, birthday cake, buying a "hot lunch" at school, even innocent classroom treats are off limits.  The Cilie Yack Sous Club for Kids gives kids confidence in their diets by seeing that there are others who eat the same way they do.  They are also learning to cook gluten free meals and have fun while doing so.

Cilie and his father trying to figure out how to bake with gluten free ingredients.
Right now Cilie Yack is Under Attack: A story about a boy with celiac disease is on sale at Amazon.com for a little more than $9, and if you have Amazon prime it also includes free shipping.

Either route, I encourage you to purchase an additional copy to donate to your local library or your child's school.


krissy said...

what a wonderful idea of writing this book.I have 2 girls (4 and 6) who both have celiac as well as myself. I cant wait to win or will buy it and read it to them. Great idea about donating it to the school's library as well. Thank you!

krissy said...

I have "liked" Cilie Yacks Sous Club and added them as a friend on FB. I am already a fan of Gluten Free Betsy.
My 2 daughters both have celiac so having birthday parties was tough at first getting the cakes to taste good enough for parents and kids to eat. I have over come that and I now get requests from non-celiac children to make their cakes. Our allergies at firts was tough for the family to adapt too. They didnt understand how sick we can get and werent really open to making an alternate dish for us to eat. That too since has been better and now everyone knows they need to have one dish for us and I as well bring a cooler everywhere I go. My oldest will be in 1st grade this fall and I am sure I will have issues with her lunches etc. I am going to talk to them this summer before she goes.
Thank you for this opportunity to win this book, my girls would love it.

Anonymous said...

My daughter is a 2nd grade Celiac and will be ready to read this book soon. She has an awesome attitude about the whole thing and is proud to be "gluten-free". Our family enters a few fundraising Celiac walks a year in her honor and we try to spread the word as much as possible. We share our G-F foods at parties so everyone knows how tasty her foods are.
We are already fans of your FB page, and just liked the Sous Chef FB page and signed up for their newsletter for additional entries.

Thanks to the author for the great discount and for offering this giveaway and review.

Dave- daveyd39@yahoo.com

jillcarl@verizon.net said...

When my allergic daughter was little I saw a video by Dr.Rapp.It showed a boy before and after eating his favorite food--banana and what a difference--his behavior was horrible after eating.She said it's often your favorite food that is the cause of your allergy.Hope to win the book.

jennygrek@hotmail.com said...

Here is my allergy story--my son had a ton of issues while being breast fed--spitting up, blood in stool, eczema, colicy spells, low weight. Was told many different excuses for these problems that had nothing to do with the real cause. Stopped nursing and switched to formula (milk based) and he would get hives on his face after drinking it that would get increasingly worse after each bottle. EVen thought i was told it was not an allergy, i got my son tested at the allergist--of course we found several food allergies...hope to win the book, it looks great!