Finding this book couldn't have been timed better. We haven't shared with many that Charlotte (Charlie) is going through Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) for cow's milk right now and we've had some really great progress, but also some challenges. That's a whole other post!
About the Authors
GEORGE W. BROWNE, M.D., FAAAAI, FACAAI, is a board-certified allergist and immunologist. He has wanted to help and heal children since he was in the 7th grade. After many years of training, he is thrilled to be running the Bless You Allergy & Asthma clinics in the Houston area. Changing the trajectory of a child’s life and freeing them from the fear associated with food allergy through OIT has become one of the most fulfilling parts of his work. When not in clinic, Dr. Browne is most likely watching a soccer game, eating a chocolate chip cookie, or enjoying time with his wife and seven children. And, as often as possible, doing all of them at once!
JENNIFER BROWNE is blessed to be married to Dr. Browne and mother to their seven amazing children. As a childhood development specialist and lifelong book lover, she developed a passion to get Food Allergy Conqueror: Ollie’s OIT Story into print to give children a vehicle to help them understand and be able to share with others the OIT journey. Her other passions include God, making homeschooling fun, fitness, and vanilla ice cream cones with rainbow sprinkles.
What Inspired You to Become Authors?
The need. Our family has always been full of children and stories. When we realized the need was there for kids to have a book of their own to help them understand as well as explain OIT, we began scribbling in the back of a spiral notebook during an airplane ride, and just never gave up till it was finished.
Why This Book?
Food Allergies are hard to live with. We have two children with food allergies in our home and Dr. Browne and his staff have helped hundreds of other families deal with theirs. The desensitization process known as OIT can be complicated, even for adults to understand. We wanted kids to find in these pages a friend who had gone ahead of them and been through it all. We wanted kids to have a book they could hold and share with their grandparents and classmates at school.
Food Allergy Conqueror: Ollie’s OIT Story has been a labor of love between my wife and me over the last year. Her passion for teaching children led me to see the importance of writing a picture book to help explain the OIT process to our young patients. I hope Ollie will be a friend and inspiration for them. I hope this book gives them the words and understanding they need to own the process for themselves and to share what they are going through with others.
What Have You Enjoyed Most About Writing and/or Publishing?
I think we both enjoyed working together and seeing the illustrations bring it all to life. But, maybe the best of all was watching the reactions on the faces of children and hearing about them recognizing their own story within Ollie’s.
What is Something That Has Surprised You During Your Book Publishing Journey?
How many times one can go over and over a section to make it just so.
What Advice Would You Give to Aspiring Authors?
It is worth it. Don’t give up. Don’t listen to the voices who tell you it is silly or too hard or something only other people can do.
Book Description: Meet Ollie, a baseball-loving kid whose biggest problem at the moment is . . . peanuts. Join Ollie as he learns about Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) and begins his journey to a new allergy-free life.
(Katie) Cover Review: Ollie is super cute and between the title of the book and seeing him eat an obvious peanut butter cup, you instantly know what the book is about.
(Kids) Cover Review:
(7-yr-old): His food looks really yummy and I like that he's smiling.
(Katie) Story Review: This story is very comprehensive from illustrating the everyday lifestyle and challenges people with food allergies face to introducing and walking through the oral immunotherapy (OIT) process. Some things I really enjoyed that the authors brought to attention is bullying, hidden allergens, reactions, and then the emotional toll of a possible reaction when starting OIT. These are all very real, everyday possibilities and I'm glad that they addressed them. I also enjoyed the positive outlook on moving forward with OIT and how much Ollie was looking forward to enjoying his dad's favorite candy with him and going to a baseball game. These may seem like small or insignificant things to those without food allergies, but to someone who has missed out because of their allergens, these are extremely big deals and should be celebrated! I also appreciate that while Ollie is doing OIT for peanut, they discuss OIT for the other major allergens as well to show the possibilities.
(Kids) Story Review:
(7-yr-old): I liked that Ollie was also doing the same thing I'm doing, just with a different food. It makes me feel good to see someone else doing the same thing as me. I learned that pet food can have peanuts, which I didn't know before. I know that one day I'll also get to hopefully do OIT for peanuts like Ollie. I also thought the pictures were really realistic. I also like that Ollie likes baseball because I played softball this year and really liked it.
(Katie) Overall: Oral immunotherapy can be a very overwhelming and complex process, so I really appreciate the authors not only taking on this topic, but creating a story that children and adults can understand and learn from. All the illustrations were really cute and complemented the story well, showing the whole process from blood draws and skin prick tests to eating the small amounts of juice and working up to a full peanut. For anyone going through or considering OIT for food allergies, I would highly recommend this book, but it's also a great resource for general knowledge about food allergies. In addition to the story, the authors also include helpful FAQ resources about OIT.
Interested in adding Food Allergy Conqueror and Ollie to your library? Book details and where you can find it are listed below!
Title: Food Allergy Conqueror: Ollie's OIT Story
Authors: George Browne M.D. & Jennifer Browne
Details: Softcover picture book
Suitable for ages: Ages 3 - 13
Facebook: Bless You Asthma & Allergy P.A.