Dixie Wants an Allergy

Today we’re on a blog tour for the new fiction picture book Dixie Wants an Allergy by Tori Corn, with fabulous illustrations by award-winning illustrator Nancy Cote.

Book Cover

Dixie listens to the stories of her friends with allergies and decides she would like an allergy, too. After all, her friends seem to get special treatment, like custom meals, and Hannah even gets to wear a “sparkly” bracelet. Will Dixie get her wish? Will it mean she gets extra attention, too?

Young readers are going to relate to a girl who wants what others have because they have likely done it themselves. It is an important lesson to learn that, more often than not, having shiny things and extra attention comes at a cost. At the same time readers are also subtly learning about what it is like to have an allergy, so important for learning empathy.

How did author Tori Corn come up with this unique perspective to help others learn more about allergies? She was gracious enough to stop by for an interview to let us know.

Tori, how did you come up with the idea for the book?

I came up with the idea of Dixie Wants an Allergy when my son developed a sensitivity to gluten and had to bring special food to nursery school.  I wanted to write a story to make him (and others who suffer from allergies) feel better about being different.

Your book really struck a chord with our family because my son is allergic to dairy products (he has an anaphylactic reaction like Charlie in the book). People often have difficulty understanding what that means.

Since there aren’t many picture books about this subject, I decided to write one. I think it’s a great way for teachers and parents to have a discussion about allergies.

I wish I had this book when my son was in elementary school. I particularly like how you made it humorous.

I think it’s important to find the humor in life’s toughest situations, which is why I wrote a funny story about a subject that can be serious and scary.

That is very true. How did you decide to tell the story from the point of view of a girl who apparently didn’t have allergies, rather than one who did?

I wanted the story to be appealing to kids who don’t suffer from allergies, so it’s also a story about watching what you wish for and that the grass isn’t always greener. In the end, I hope my book teaches children that they should think twice about what they want and be wary of wanting what other people have. Last but not least, I hope they get the message that our wishes may not always perfect, but they’re still worth wishing for.

Tori CornTori Corn

Thank you, Tori.

If you’d like to learn more about Tori and her books, be sure to visit her website,

Tour Badgeas well as the other stops on the blog tour.

 Dixie Wants an Allergy by Tori Corn and illustrated by Nancy Cote.

Age Range: 3 – 6 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Sky Pony Press (April 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620879913
ISBN-13: 978-1620879917

Disclosures: The book was provided for review purposes electronically. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

Baba Didi and the Godwits Fly

If you haven’t traveled much, then you just might get inspired by Baba Didi and the Godwits Fly by Nicola Muir and illustrated by Annie Hayward with a foreword by Former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark. This book is about amazing migrations, both by tiny shorebirds and by determined humans. godwits

Baba Didi of the title is the narrator and Isabella’s grandmother. When they discover brown shorebirds called bar-tailed godwits feeding on the beach near their home in New Zealand, Baba Didi explains how the birds make a migration flight all the way to Alaska each year.

It turns out Baba Didi made an equally perilous journey when she and her husband left Croatia when they were young and sailed all the way to New Zealand. Although the lure was the potential for finding gold, their group didn’t have the money to buy the required license to even look. Instead of giving up, they found deposits of amber that gave them the opportunity to buy marginal land. Working hard and using insight, they began growing vineyards and were soon able to support themselves. With every turn of the page, the reader learns something new about the history of immigration in New Zealand.

Baba Didi and the Godwits Fly is about migrations, but it also has a strong theme about perseverance and doing what needs to be done to survive and even prosper. It is the type of book a grandparent would enjoy reading to his or her own grandchildren, and then sharing their own family stories. Perhaps it would be time to plan some far-reaching travels of their own.



If you are looking for nonfiction/fiction pairs for a lesson about bird migration, consider reading Baba Didi and the Godwits Fly with some of the picture book nonfiction in this list at Science Books for Kids:

Taking-Flight-childrens-books-about-bird-migrationTaking Flight

Ages: 5-9
Series: Searchlight Books
Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group (August 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1467715522
ISBN-13: 978-1467715522

A portion of the sales of this book benefit UNICEF.

Disclosures: This book was provided for review purposes. I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.


Bar-Tailed Godwit on Tundra

(Photograph of a bar-tailed godwit by Maslowski, Steve – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service )

Isabella: Girl on the Go

Have you discovered the Isabella picture books by Jennifer Fosberry and illustrated by Mike Litwin yet? There’s a new addition to the series coming out this month, Isabella: Girl on the Go.

Isabella is a purple-haired girl with an out-of-this-world imagination and boundless energy. In the course of a single day she takes a trip around the world and tries on different roles while never leaving her own back yard. During her adventure, she visits many famous places while “the father” helps add vocabulary and transitions from the Eiffel Tower to the Great Wall of China to Chichén Itza to the Statue of Liberty.

Mike Litwin’s equally imaginative illustrations add depth and humor. See how he creates an illustration step-by-step in this video. Fascinating!

In the back matter is a lovely synopsis of each of “the places that changed the world” that she visits with a small color photograph of the real structure, as well as a description of the jobs or roles she tries out. It is a great addition for discovering more when the questions start coming.

Isabella is going on a book tour starting next week. Check the Isabella:  Girl on the Go Tour for locations of events, a downloadable activity kit and a passport. If you are going to be in Arizona, you might want to catch Jennifer Fosberry at Changing Hands Bookstore’s Story Time Thursday March 1st, 2012 from 10:15 a.m.-11:15 a.m. Let me know if you are going, and maybe I’ll see you there.

Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (February 21, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1402266480
ISBN-13: 978-1402266485

Book was provided by publisher for review purposes.

Dinotrux Makes Prehistoric Impact in Preschooler World

Dinotrux is a new picture book by Tucson author/illustrator Chris Gall that has made a truck-sized impact on the children’s lit world.

You may have heard the buzz or seen the blog posts: “What a great idea!” “Why didn’t I think of that?” “He’s got a deal with DreamWorks already!” “A book preschool boys will love.”

To get an idea of what the clamor is all about, take a look at the book trailer.

The trailer is funny, clever and well, animated. When I picked up the book I wanted Cementosaurus make facial expressions. (Note to self: don’t make your book trailer so fantastic people want your illustrations to move.) As you can see, the book is wonderful. The names of each dinotrux is based on real dinosaur names like “Dumplodocus,” the dump truck version of Diplodocus. Who wouldn’t find Dozeratops, the Craneosaurus, the Semisaur appealing?. The story isn’t complex; this is a field guide to dinosaur/trucks.

Chris Gall admits he changed his illustration style for this book. The illustrations are darker hues than his previous books with heavy lines giving it a more retro look, probably to reflect the dim past. Gall says he wanted to represent how fiery and dangerous it was in the time of Dinotrux (the shading reminds me of the illustrations in Chris Van Allsburg’s Two Bad Ants). Gall says he creates his illustrations both by hand and on the computer and often goes back and forth between the two.

Dinotrux is incredibly imaginative and humorous. It will definitely be a smash with preschoolers interested in trucks and/or dinosaurs.

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers (June 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316027774
ISBN-13: 978-0316027779
Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 9.2 x 0.6 inches