Thursday, January 26, 2017

Avril Knows: A Positive Perspective on Allergies - a bookwrap

Today's book is a very special story that allows both parents and children to reframe their lives with allergies in a whole new context.


"Avril Knows: A Positive Perspective on Allergies"

Authored by Ginny Heenan

Illustrated by
Savannah Lund, Daniele Derenzi

Unwrapping what others are saying...

  "A beautifully written and illustrated story about how a child's differences--even nut allergies!-- add to that child's perfect individual magic!" ~Dr. Giselle Crow, Clinical Psychologist, Long Beach, CA

"Loved this book that brings up the topic of allergies. Speaking as a parent who has a child with allergies I loved the positive spin that was taken. This is a great book for any child, but a rare one that children with allergies can read and relate to ~ M. Wells

"Avril Knows helps children learn to look beyond their allergies to recognize and appreciate their own unique skills and talents. Allergies are on the rise and this is an important topic for school settings and beyond." ~Kelly Greenfield, Vice Principal, North Star Academy, Belmont, CA

Illustrations for you ...

About the book...

Backstory info straight from the author's pen:

    "This book is based upon a true story - there is a real girl in a real painting and the painting was used for the book cover.  The artist in the story is the author and artist of the painting.  There is symbolism layered in the book, symbolism that
      the artist uses to represent the allergies as she sees them, and it's also a book about art and art interpretation.  The artist in this story is aptly named "Jophiel" after one of the archangels "the angel of God's beauty or perfection."
     "The story is especially personal for Heenan. Avril is based on a now 10-year-girl girl named Abby who also has a nut allergy. Heenan became friends with Abby’s mom through their mothers’ group, and two years ago she painted a 36-inch by 36-inch oil portrait of Abby (the same one from her story) on canvas. The portrait is hanging in the family’s home, just like in the book.
     Heenan told The Huffington Post that she decided to write "Avril Knows" to provide a positive message for Abby and other kids with food allergies. Watching Abby grow up, Heenan has seen what she must do day-to-day to ensure her safety.
    “Since my daughter is in her class, I know there are very strict rules and a sign outside the classroom door forbidding any nut products to even enter the room,” Heenan said."

My take...

     This book tells the story of a girl named Avril who has severe nut allergies and how she has to always be on guard as to what she eats every single day. Her very life depends on it. Avril discovers through parental love and friend's and neighbour's observations that she is different from other kids but that very difference makes her a very special girl indeed.  Avril loves performing magic tricks which she is excels at.  The author takes Avril's love for magic and creatively weaves that love with that of her allergies.  

     This book provides a very positive message to kids living with allergies.  The author's intention is to have kids understand their plight and to let them know they are not alone in their struggles.   She states that according to FARE one in every 13 kids suffers with them - that's two children per classroom across the country.  That is a huge number so I am sure this book will be appreciated by many as individual's allergies are discussed and brought to the forefront in conversations together.

    The author states:  "Artists often see the world differently, and if we take the time to see things through another perspective, perhaps we can learn something or something new. "

      Heena's ultimate goal is to show kids with food allergies how strong they are and to raise awareness for the sacrifices they make."  

      The fact the book is based on a true story makes the book even more inspiring and endearing. 

Storywraps rating...  5 HUGS!!!!!

      GINNY HEENAN is an award-winning Bay Area artist who painted several children’s portraits that turned into stories.  She wrote this book to help children with allergies see themselves positively through the eyes of an artist. She received a BA in Legal Studies from University of California in Berkeley and a Masters in Education University of Phoenix.   She lives in Belmont, CA.

      SAVANNAH LUND is an entertainment design artist.  She graduated from Cogswell and now teaches photoshop classes and creates art.

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