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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
I Can Help Take Care of Me is an educational story about Diabetes (Type 1) written by Yerachmiel B. Altman. This illustrated children’s book, written completely in rhyming poetry and using soft toys as patient, parent and doctor, talks of how the author was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of two. With things being very different back then, the experience was a lot scarier. Much of the equipment used to check your blood sugar, administer insulin, and keep you healthy inside has now changed, with insulin pumps helping to keep blood sugar at a good number. When your symptoms alert you to the fact that something is not right, it is essential that your blood sugar and blood pressure are checked and that your blood sugar is brought back to the proper range before you can partake in sports or play with your friends. The book makes it very clear that Diabetes is not contagious in any way, and that when you eat well and take proper care of yourself, there is absolutely nothing that stops you from being able to live a full and happy life.
As a Diabetic, I was quite impressed with how Yerachmiel B. Altman tackled such a difficult topic, especially for children, who can be quite upset, angry and stubborn when diagnosed with Diabetes. The earlier they are educated on all aspects of the disease and are taught that Diabetes is not a death sentence, the better. When a Diabetic child realizes how important it is to tell the people around them that they are not feeling well, it soon becomes second nature to them to take care of themselves and to alert others that they may be in danger. Yerachmiel B. Altman has not only taken the mystery, stigma and fear out of Diabetes, but has also taught a child to feel empowered, in that they are more aware of their symptoms than anybody else and can play a part in making sure they are well. Educating parents about the fact that their children cannot catch the disease from those with Diabetes is also covered. I recommend I Can Help Take Care of Me to all newly diagnosed Diabetics, their friends, families, and peers.