Today's post is a review of a new storybook being offered to help parents talk with--and teach--their children about asthma and how to manage it safely. The book is called Breathless Bethany Buttercup and is a collaboration between the Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) and Schering-Plough, a pharmaceutical company that makes the asthma medicine, Asmanex.
If you order it now, you can get it for free, including free shipping. Orders will arrive in a few weeks and are limited to one book per household.
What the Book Is About
The book tells the story of a little girl named Bethany's experience with asthma. It talks about her troubles in playing with her friends outside and how she solves the problem with her mom and doctor by going on a daily preventive medicine for asthma. It's aimed at the young elementary school aged child and his/her parents.
What I Liked About the Book
The book is well drawn and the facts are there about asthma, its effect on kids and how to keep asthma from interfering with a child's life. It's colorful, both visually and verbally.
The book will definitely help parents and kids open the lines of communication about asthma. And the fact that it's available for free is a definite plus.
What I Didn't Like
The book is written in rhyme, which I do realize is common in a child's storybook. However, I found the forced rhyming to be a bit distracting from the overall message. Also, some of the language was a bit advanced for young children and will probably affect readability and comprehension. Words such as "concerns" and "baffled" may be difficult to explain to a child.
The book also focuses exclusively on medication for controlling asthma. Although it talks in a general way about Bethany starting to wheeze when playing outside on a warm, windy spring day, there is no talk at all about triggers and how to avoid them. I would like to have at least seen this topic touched upon.
The free Bethany book is a tool for communication between parent and child about the importance of asthma medication. It also introduces the topic of an asthma action plan. But it misses an important part of asthma management - trigger avoidance.
Luckily, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers a great little free PDF workbook, called Dusty the Asthma Goldfish and His Asthma Triggers Funbook, which will make a nice supplement to Bethany Buttercup.
To learn more about Breathless Bethany Buttercup or to order your copy, visit the www.asthmastorybook.com website.
Published On: May 05, 2009