Nursing Student's Allergy to Peanuts is Inspiration for First Book

Christine Cirillo was in high school when she first became aware of her allergic reaction to peanuts.

Christine Cirillo holding her book, No More Peanuts for Ellie the Elephant."It was awful," said the junior Nursing student. "During lunches I had to sit at a 'peanut-free' table, totally isolated from my classmates."

Two years ago, Cirillo was given a class assignment that focused on children's safety and health issues. She thought immediately of her peanut allergy and how she might be able to help small children better understand this important issue.

Now, two years later, that assignment has become Cirillo's first book, "No More Peanuts for Ellie the Elephant." "Ellie," which Cirillo self-published with CreateSpace, is written for children ages 3-6, and Cirillo provided both the text and the black-and-white illustrations.

"My hope is that parents will read "Ellie" over and over again to their children who have the peanut allergy, and then the children will also spend time with the book by coloring the illustrations," she said. Cirillo, who will graduate in December 2018, says she also hopes that "Ellie" will help friends understand classmates who suffer from this allergy.

Cirillo is working on a novel for adults, but her next writing project will be another children's book, this one inspired by some family members. "Diabetes runs in my family," said Cirillo, "and I wanted to do something focused on Type 1 diabetes, which so many kids have today."

The new book, "No More Sweets for Claire the Panda Bear," will be released next summer. "No More Peanuts for Ellie the Elephant" is available on Amazon, barnesandnoble and other outlets.