Palmerton, Pennsylvania, USA – Millions of kids will soon have a fun way to feel a “tad bit” better about their food allergies. Alicia J. Pfaff, a holistic health coach based in Palmerton, Pennsylvania, is releasing a children’s picture book that exposes the identity and belongingness issues kids often experience when diagnosed—but does so through a sweet story and whimsical illustrations painted by Paula M. Zelienka.
“In some ways, the timing of this release helps. With the pandemic, most are experiencing firsthand what it feels like to be unsure of whether they should interact or share food with another person,” Pfaff says. “Everyone is working through the grief of missing important celebrations with their loved ones and friends — of feeling isolated. That will make it easier for people to relate to kids with food allergies and their parents. They feel that way often, and with no end in sight.”
Alicia knows the heartbreak and anxiousness that goes along with being a food allergy parent. The book is based on her son’s experiences growing up with multiple allergies to common foods such as dairy, soy, and egg. She hopes this story will provide food allergy kids a character that they can feel connected to and learn from. Equally as important to her is the desire to raise awareness and compassion in those who interact with these kids and their families.
If I Can’t Eat Flies, What Am I? follows Tad the frog, who is allergic to flies. He is convinced he cannot be a frog anymore, so he goes on a journey to discover what else he might be. His adventure doesn’t go as planned, but he learns some important safety and life lessons. In the end, he realizes that he is not alone, and that he is not defined by what he does or does not eat.
“Alicia has done an amazing job here; I just love the story! The writing is wonderful, and so is the art,” says Jennifer Rees, a premier children’s book editor at Reedsy, who has worked on award-winning and bestselling books, such as The Hunger Games and War Horse. “[Alicia] tackles such a great and much-needed topic for a picture book. Our lives deeply revolve around food and the celebration of events with food, so I think Alicia’s book would come in handy in so many situations (in schools and at home).”
If I Can’t Eat Flies, What Am I? releases February 9, 2021 and is available for pre-order in hardcover edition ($18.99) and softcover edition ($11.99) on Amazon and B&N, and in Kindle eBook edition ($1.99) on Amazon. Spanish editions are expected mid-April.
To order an autographed copy or learn more, visit www.aliciajpfaff.com.