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Mitchell Itches An Ezcema Story

By Kristin Kelly & Amelina Jones

Reviewed by Margarite Igras

Kristin Kelly is a former nurse and primary/preschool teacher who was inspired to write this book after having a child in her classroom with severe eczema. She is familiar with the condition as it is also found in some of her own family members. Amelina Jones has done wonders with the illustrations with an amazing array of details embedded into each page.
The cover shows three smiling children sitting on a bench. Mitchell is in the middle, and on closer inspection, his knees, and elbows are red and probably sore. According to his mum, Mitchell was born scratching…His face was red and sore-looking, but he was smiling anyway. We learn about the triggers of eczema, such as stress, mould, dust mites, and Mitchell’s allergy to milk and eggs.
We  learn how, with the help of his family, he manages his condition with icepacks, special baths, and wearing soft, floppy cotton clothes that his mum washed in special liquid. But when his uncle Sean introduces him to the guitar to keep his itchy hands occupied, he finds he has a talent that has sprung out of his eczema, because the more you practice the better you get. And Mitchell had practised every time he felt itchy.
There are only one or two sentences on each page, but together with the embedded text in charts, diagrams as well as facial expressions and body language we learn about the challenges of this condition. Amelina Jones has used watercolour and ink to make each page full of visual and emotional cues.
A useful and uplifting school, library or home resource for 4-8 year old, showing the lived experience of an eczema sufferer, who is resilient, positive and just gets on with life.
Teacher’s Notes
EK Books 2024
1942 Amsterdam Ave NY (212) 862-3680

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