Jude, along with every child with a peanut allergy, truly inspires me. They show bravery, confidence, and intelligence as they are usually the “odd person out”
not being able to partake in enjoying food at most functions and parties. Of the hundreds of events where I have had to bring Jude’s own food, only once was he truly
disappointed he could not eat the food served at the event. It also truly amazes me how peanut and other food allergy children show intelligence and confidence as talk
about reading labels and inform restaurants of their allergy at even the young ages of 3-4. I truly believe every child with a life threatening food allergy can handle anything.
What age range is your book geared for?
The book is geared towards those ages 3-8.
I want this book to first show children they are not alone. At my son’s small private school, there are about 15 other children with a peanut allergy. Yet, at the one down the street, only one child has one. I want those children that may not have schoolmates/friends with their allergy to know there are other kids out there. I also want to consistently remind them how to live safely. They can live a normal life, they simply need to make a few minor adjustments.
You have created a website, Youtube video, now a book, about allergies. What do you hope to bring to the food allergy families?
I want to educate food allergy families on living safely. When my child was diagnosed with a peanut allergy, the allergist gave us a prescription for an Epi-Pen and an emergency action plan. I felt prepared as I went out to eat that night at a buffet and let my son have a chocolate chip cookie (two major “no-no’s”). At first, I had no knowledge of cross contamination issues or that 1/100 of a piece of peanut could cause a fatal reaction. It was after scouring message boards and collaborating with other food/peanut allergy parents that I learned to protect my son and I am grateful that I learned so much to protect my son. Unfortunately, there are many parents that don’t have a full understanding of peanut allergies and it isn’t their fault at all! At my son’s school, there was a girl in his class with a peanut allergy. I have noticed her eating store bought cupcakes at several parties. When I asked her mother about it, the reply was, “Oh, it’s not that serious”. There were even a few parents at the school that didn’t carry an Epi-Pen since their children haven’t experienced anaphylactic reactions in the past. I worked to educate each of them and inform them that they were “walking on a time bomb” with their child’s life. I compared it to riding in a car. You don’t know whether or not you will get into an accident but you buckle up your child. I gave them my website and all were very grateful for the information. They simply were not informed. I also receive countless emails from parents across the globe thanking me for the information and assisting them in learning to live safely.
I Promise: A Mother's Poem to Her Son portrays the special bond a mother and son share as active little boys love to write on walls, flush toys down the potty, and play video games. It is a touching and funny poem from a mother to her son on how she will do her best (though she won't always be perfect!) in raising him through various stages in his life.
Using mixed media to portray comical pictures, "I Promise" engages both chidren and adults. It makes a fabulous gift for mothers, sons of all ages, and has even been embraced by single mothers as the author of the book is a busy single mom and the mother in the story does everything from practicing football to managing the family's finances.
You can visit Jude the Dude at Judethedude.comUpdate Bridget Batson Newest Book
Creating Jude the Dude has been one of the most positive experiences of my life. I am blown away by the positive feedback and "thank you's" I have received from creating a peanut allergy role model. So, I am starting to write more Jude the Dude books to portray a peanut allergy child coping through various stages and events of life (Chrismas/Birthdays/Halloween/First School Days), etc.
In these books, Jude will also learn about other food allergies as other characters with various food allergies will be introduced. This will open the Jude the Dude character to children facing other/multiple food allergies. In the Halloween Book, I introduce a new character, Henry, who has multiple food allergies. Henry is allergic to peanuts (like Jude) but he also allergic to cheese and milk products.
The Halloween book, in which Jude the Dude throws a Halloween party, emphasizes general safety: carrying your Epi-Pen at all times, reading labels, not eating store bought baked goods, and having others wash their hands if they touch something a food allergy child is allergic to. It also shows Jude telling the store baker that he cannot their products (showing the confidence Jude has to tell others about his allergy). But, it also sends a positive message on the value of great friends working together to keep each other safe.
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Carla Burke author of My Name May Be Peanuts, But I say Nay to PB & J
Amy Recob author of The bug a Bees friends with Food Allergies
Heather Mehra and Kerry Manama authors of The No Biggie Bunch
Ginger Carter Miller.htm Gluten Free in Georgia blogger
Iris Shamus founder Allermates
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Douglas Samual Allergy Details blogger
Jeff Edner Owner Dairy Free Market
Sarah Hatfield No Whey Mama blogger