In A Pickle Over PANDAS

Children - Educational
42 Pages
Reviewed on 02/08/2016
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Author Biography

Melanie S. Weiss, R.N. has been a registered nurse for over thirty years, certified in maternal-newborn nursing. Her goals in writing this book were to explain a frightening illness to the children afflicted with it, in an informative but non-frightening way, and to raise awareness about the disorder. She is also the author of the articles, "PANDAS: What Every Parent Needs to Know" and "The Pandemonium of PANDAS: An Unprecedented Pediatric Disorder." Melanie lives on Long Island, NY with her husband and three sons and is an employee of Northwell Health.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite

In A Pickle Over Pandas is probably the most NECESSARY book I've reviewed this year and I've reviewed quite a few. I think it is a must-read for anyone with children. The PANDAS in this children’s story is not describing our furry black and white friends from China, but a very frightening disease that I had never even heard of. Trust me, parents, when I say you want to read this book because the symptoms can easily be misdiagnosed and the longer that happens the more serious the effects on your child. Melanie S. Weiss is a Registered Nurse who wrote this book from the first person point of view of a child going through this illness so as to explain what’s happening to children with the disease without frightening them. This is as noble a reason to write a book as any I have ever heard. I certainly learned a lot, and I want to repeat that every parent should read it because diagnosis is tricky, and this is one of the things you want to eliminate first from the list of what might be wrong with your child.

Melanie S. Weiss has written an elegant, simple and straight to the point book with appropriate pictures and vocabulary. There are a lot of needed explanations that are simple enough for children and their parents to understand. If you love children and if you have children, you can’t lose by buying and reading In A Pickle Over PANDAS as part of the proceeds go toward PANDAS/PANS research. PANDAS is the acronym for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus.

Jack Magnus

In a Pickle Over PANDAS is a children's educational book written by Melanie S. Weiss, R.N. and illustrated by Thomas Barnett. PANDAS is an autoimmune disorder that can be triggered by the bacteria that causes strep throat. Children who have the disorder may suddenly feel different and have trouble controlling their emotions, and their behavior often drastically changes. Some exhibit signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or Tourette's, or have trouble concentrating in school and exhibit other behavioral anomalies. PANDAS is treated with antibiotics, and the sooner the condition is diagnosed and treated, the easier and speedier a return to normalcy can be effected. This story follows the life of an eight-year-old boy who woke up feeling strange and awful. It follows his visits to doctors, including the one who finally diagnosed his condition, and shows the young reader what steps are commonly taken to treat PANDAS. Best of all, it shows at the end of the tale that a return to a healthy normal childhood is indeed possible. The author includes a list of references and a glossary of terms in the appendix.

Diseases are frightening for anyone who is afflicted as well as their loved ones, but it's especially hard for a young child to suddenly find their behavior has drastically changed and to feel like they are going crazy, just like the young boy in this story. Weiss's well-written, compassionate and highly informative story demystifies a frightening condition and explains its causes and treatments in a way that is understandable for a child. Having the story told in the first-person by her character works wonderfully as it gives a child going through PANDAS someone to identify with, and it gives them information in a way that does not seem patronizing, overly simplified or overly complicated. Thomas Barnett's brilliant illustrations bring a bit of humorous relief into the equation and are full of empathy while greatly contributing to the information given in the text. This is a marvelous resource for families coping with PANDAS, and I recommend it most highly.

Renee Taylor

In A Pickle Over PANDAS by Melanie S. Weiss, R.N. is an educational book for children about the disease PANDAS, or Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus. The story is about a boy who wakes up one morning with some of the symptoms associated with this disease. He tries to understand why he has anxiety. He doesn't know why he's throwing tantrums or is so angry or feels like he has to repeat steps in a problem three or five or seven times (OCD is also a symptom of PANDAS). The boy and his family go through a lot, especially when they are not aware of what exactly is going on. But luckily he visits many good doctors who run the right tests and check his blood. As the story progresses, we learn more about the symptoms of PANDAS, the cause of PANDAS, and the potential treatments and cure for PANDAS.

In A Pickle Over PANDAS is an educational non-fiction story meant to educate and create awareness about the potential side effects of the streptococcus bacteria that apparently affects some children. I was very shocked to read this story as I had never heard of this before. I think a lot of other people will also be incredibly educated by this book, because it sheds light on a subject that few people may even know exists. It is written in very simple sentences that a child could understand, but is also filled with medical information and terminology that made me feel like I was getting the best information I could about this disease.