… Finding the Courage to Slay the Hidden Monster!
Gordy and the Magic Diet, written by Kim Diersen and April Runge, with whimsical illustrations by Carrie Hartman, is a children’s book about a little boy who struggles with a belly monster that makes him feel yucky, cranky, sad, and very frustrated. He doesn’t know why the monster shows up sometimes more than others. He just knows that the monster really bothers him and is beginning to take over all the fun things he used to be able to enjoy, but now they often leave him feeling sick … like birthday parties, school celebrations, even Grandma’s special treats.
Gordy’s doctor discovers a special diet that eventually makes Gordy feel better … but Gordy thinks this diet is too difficult. So he cheats, hoping that “maybe a teeny-tiny piece won’t hurt”. He discovers very quickly that even a little bit of the wrong foods can bring back all the yucky, cranky, sad, and frustrated feelings. Gordy ultimately has to decide for himself if he is strong enough to slay that monster that lurks in his belly. Can he be brave enough to say “no” to the favorite foods to keep himself feeling good?
I find this book a good read for young children, and their parents or caregivers, who are dealing with the very adult responsibilities of making healthy and healing food choices and being brave enough to say “no” to the continuous temptations that are present in their young lives. While the book doesn’t address a specific diet (which I really see as a positive point), such as gluten-free or dairy-free, Gordy’s story brings attention to the emotional aspects of any type of food restrictions. The book is written in an accepting, loving way, while not coddling or putting a “poor me” twist on the topic. It can be easy to experience the “poor me” emotions, even for adults, so I especially like how the book supports the concept that the challenge of feeling good is ultimately up to Gordy – it is always a personal journey … hopefully with the abundant support of others.
If you have a child dealing with the challenges of dietary guidelines that may be outside the typical – or you know someone who does – I would highly recommend sharing Gordy and the Magic Diet. This would be a good book to include in the school and/or classroom library as well. The greater awareness we can bring to others, the better the understanding and tolerance we can gain from others. Kudos to the creators of this necessary children’s book.
To learn about the driving force of Kim, April, and Carrie to create this book, click here.
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™