Childhood is a time of magic, where little minds ponder the mysteries of why the sky is blue or why grass isn't purple, and when “Silly Head” is the worst possible insult. For a growing number of children these worries, while still valid, exist alongside concerns adults would consider to be truly monumental, or even life threatening, such as food allergies. It confounds a child's logic to sit next to a friend eating pizza, or a peanut butter sandwich, and yet not be able to do the same. All manner of questions arise, and they are hard to answer beyond "Because it will hurt you, Honey." While this response may be accepted, it still makes no sense.
Imagine living in the land of dairy and being unable to enjoy a slice of cheese, or a glass of milk while it is all around you. Worse yet, a mermaid who is unable to touch shellfish or seaweed. It can become a terrifying prospect for adults and children alike when those ubiquitous items that float around us every day can become a quick trip to the hospital.
And what of a child's friend who suffers and is made fun of for it? The struggle to protect and aid that friend, to comfort him or her, may be quite a battle indeed for a young person, especially when it spotlights both children and opens them to misunderstanding and ridicule. A surprising number of young, amazing children, suffer these slings and arrows every day.
"Tumptin's Sneeze" addresses these very grown-up concerns with whimsy and humor, a gentle encouragement to those youths who do what is right even when it becomes difficult. It offers a sense of equation and balance for the children who can't even touch what everyone else around them is eating, no matter how delicious it might look. It provides strength and support in a manner easy for young people to accept and take to heart, teaching them to accommodate and understand those who may require special concessions.
In Tumptin's Sneeze we visit the land of Kiya, a plucky little girl who is friends with Tumptin the elephant; his great sneezes keep the peanut crops of her people well-watered and growing strong. Determined to help her pal get to the root of the sneezing problem, Kiya embarks on a journey of strength and spirit while facing down those who tell her she's wrong to stop the sneezes the crops so desperately need. The concern for her friend's health and comfort win out, and while it is difficult, she stands firm, eventually discovering Tumptin's problem and finding a solution.
Filled cover to cover with rich, charming illustrations sure to warm the heart and a story to last through a lifetime, Tumptin's Sneeze makes a sterling addition to any child's library, and a gorgeous gift for a special friend. And who can go wrong giving a gift that simultaneously cheers the soul and fortifies character?
Have you ever wanted to help your son or daughter be the kind of friend that will stand up for others, even when it is difficult?
My passion is writing children's books that help kids do that very thing. I wrote Tumptin's Sneeeze to help portray what it feels like to be a child that cannot eat what everyone else is eating, as well as how it feels to be a friend who has to decide to try to help, even when the stakes are high.
I hope you will pick up a copy of Tumptin's Sneeze today and that it will be a great tool in helping your children understand and stand up for others.