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Sharon Chisvin



by Rhonda J. Prepes, P. Eng. September 22, 2012

The Girl Who Cannot Eat Peanut Butter is a children’s rhyming picture book written by Winnipeg writer Sharon Chisvin and illustrated by long time Gray Academy junior kindergarten teacher Carol Leszcz. It presents the issue of food allergies in rhyming verses. It is about a girl named Sam who is allergic to peanuts. At times she gets upset about having a food allergy because she misses out on peanut butter sandwiches for lunch at school and birthday cake at parties. It explains that children all have things that make them unique and that food allergy is just one of these qualities. Sam my not be able to eat anything with peanuts but, she still has a variety of other delicious options available.

The book is short, easy to read, funny, and filled with delightful pictures. This book addresses the challenges for children with severe allergies and offers simple ways of coping. This book increases the awareness of food allergies and advises on what precautions need to be taken. It is intended for ages 5 – 10. This book would be helpful for teachers and mothers, and for children with or without food-allergies to begin a discussion about the seriousness of food allergies.

Chisvin thought up this story almost 20 years ago when her own daughter, who has a peanut allergy began Grade 1. The book was released in April 2012 after self- publishing it with the help of Winnipeg-based Art Bookbindery. This past May, Food Allergy Awareness Month 2012, the book became an instant hit with world-wide sales.

The book, which sells for $9.95, is available on Chisvin’s website at , McNally Robinson in Grant Park and nut-free bakery Sweet Impressions in Fort Rouge.

Sharon Chisvin is a Winnipeg journalist, researcher, editor, book reviewer, documentarian and oral historian whose writing has appeared in myriad anthologies, magazines and newspapers and whose career has spanned almost 30 years. Her other books include: Life and Times: Women’s Voice, Our Musical Heritage: A Century of Jewish Musicians and Music in Winnipeg, and Making a Difference: Celebrating Winnipeg's Jewish Child and Family Service.

Chisvin is the mother of three young adults. She is active in the Jewish community, president of the Camp Massad Board and the co-founder of Readheads, an initiative that collects and distributes gently used books to inner-city children. She is married to Marshall Carroll, chemistry teacher at Vincent Massey Collegiate and recent World’s Smartest Person TV show contestant. Chisvin has also been a past contributor to the Winnipeg Jewish Review.

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