Carla Burke is the author of two books: "I Spy a Dragonfly" and "My Name may be Peanuts but I Say Nay to PB& J." Her book,"I Spy A Dragon Fly" was chosen to receive the 2011 Christian Literacy Award.It was well deserved recognition for the years she spent writing and promoting it.
"I Spy A Dragonfly" is an endearing title for a children’s book. How did she come up with the idea for my book? In 2007 there was great deal of rain in San Antonio. One day she noticed swarms of colorful dragonflies darting about all over her property.She showed the dragonflies to her son, who was four years old at the time, hoping one would land on him. To their amazement, a small blue dragon fly settled on her son’s arm. He was so delighted that she wanted to write down their wondrous experience as a keepsake.In the end, her story became an enchanting children’s book instead.
Carla’s second book, "My Name may be Peanuts, but I say Nay to PB&J",concerns a very serious subject-food allergies. She wanted to educate children and parents about the dangers of food allergies. She hopes that her book will foster an understanding and prevent bullying of children who suffer from food allergies.
Does Carla have a work in progress? Yes, her new book will be released soon. It concerns therapeutic riding and the benefits to children with disabilities. Riding can be a life changing experience to children, not only physically, but emotionally as well. It helps them build self esteem.
Are you wondering what Carla enjoy s in her spare time? She loves volunteering at Saddle Light Therapeutic Riding Center. She enjoys seeing the tremendous changes that riding makes to the students there and satisfies her passion for horses as well. She’s a busy mom to her children, Sean and Amanda, and a devoted wife to her husband, Phil. If you’d like to purchase her books, please visit:http://www.carlasburke.com or http://www.amazon.com/author/carlaburke
Yes, this article gives me chills and reminds me of a time my then 7 year old daughter ate a cookie that contained peanuts. We were told it was a sugar cookie. It only took seconds for her to go into anaphylactic shock. Now we never buy anything unless there is a label and even then it's hard to trust the label.
A young woman nearly died after suffering a severe allergic reaction to a cake that promised to be peanut-free. Preethi Koshy, a 22 year old who has been diagnosed with a serious peanut allergy, spent three days in the ICU after eating just a single bite of a cake her mother had purchased for her.
Her mother asked the vender at the food festival where the cake was sold whether it contained peanuts. The vender insisted it was peanut-free, though a later investigation revealed that the cake actually contained a high quantity of peanuts – some bites may have been more than 50% peanut.
As soon as she took a bite, says Koshy, she knew it contained nuts. “I knew it was really serious. I could feel my throat swelling up and my breathing stopping” she explained to the Daily Mail, adding “I know I am lucky to be alive. The doctors said if I had gone two minutes longer without treatment, I probably wouldn't have survived.”
The company that sold the treat has now been fined £7,500 ($11,500) because it lied to Koshy's mother about the ingredients in the cake.
Reflecting on the amount of the fine, Koshy complained “The fine does not hit home hard enough and doesn't reflect how close I was to losing my life. They passively told my mum there were no peanuts in it, without thinking how serious the outcome could have been.”
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It scares me to see this. Another death! Just proves how Peanut Allergic children are not safe eating anywhere. Even in what we consider "safe restaurants" there is a chance of cross contamination. This is something I worry about every day with Amanda.
How did you come up with the idea for your first book, I Spy a Dragonfly?
In the Spring of 2007 we had a tremendous amount of rain here in San Antonio. Soon after the rain stopped there were hundreds of dragonflies everywhere. They were so abundant that they would hit my windshield as I drove into the driveway. They were everywhere! Big, small, fat, blue, green, skinny - I just couldn't get enough of them and became fascinated by them. I took my son, who was 4 years old, out back to see the dragonflies. I told him to hold out his arm and that maybe one would land on him. Sure enough and skinny, blue dragonfly landed on his arm and he thought that was the coolest thing. I decided to write down that experience for a keepsake but ended up turning it into a children's book.
What was your favorite book as a child? I love reading as a child, and my favorites were Dr. Suess and Mother Goose.
How many books have you written?
I have written two children's books. My second book is called My name may be Peanuts, but I say Nay to PB&J. It's about a little girl who suffers from peanut and tree nut allergies. It is an educational book for all children who have food allergies.
I Spy a Dragonfly was awarded the 2011 Christian Literacy Award. What does that mean to you as an author?Winning the 2011 Christian Literary Award meant the world to me. I had worked so hard for a several years just writing the book and getting it out. I really felt humbled and honored.
What do you hope children will learn from your books?
With I Spy a Dragonfly, I hope children learn about nature and dragonflies which are very mysterious creatures because they can even fly backwards!
With My name may be Peanuts, but I say Nay to PB&J, I hope children learn how to accept a child who has to read every label before eating it which can sometimes lead to bullying. I hope children learn become of aware of the terrible allergy and become more sensitive to the fact that not every child is alike.
Children's authors don't always get to choose who illustrates their books. Are you happy with how your illustrations turned out? Are the characters as you imagined them?I had a wonderful illustrator and am very happy with how the illustrations turned out. The are actually exactly how I described my characters and scenes to her. I feel very blessed that I worked with her.
Are you working on any other books?
I am working on a third book about children with disabilities and special needs and how therapy horses can help them become stronger physically and mentally.