Gr 3-5-- Not really ``all'' about allergies, but rather a basic overview of the aberrations of the immune system. Readers are introduced to a variety of characters, each of whom suffers from a different ailment. Several other children pop up throughout, personalizing the problems of young sufferers. A description of the malfunctioning of the immune system follows, outlining the roles of immunoglobin G and E in the defense of the body. Mast cells are introduced as well, but their function is not clearly explained until a page later, which is confusing. Genetic disposition toward allergies, testing and treatment, and brief discussions of hay fever, asthma, and specific allergies round out the text. The writing is clear and easy to follow; the many examples hold readers' interest. Occasionally, the simplicfication is distracting. Black-and-white cartoons, occasionally shaded to represent people of color, appear on nearly every other page. In most instances, they show characters having allergic reactions, avoiding allergens, or being tested. There are only two diagrams; they, too, have a cartoonlike look. From the cover, which resembles the artwork used in the ``Let's Read and Find Out Books'' (HarperCollins), one expects the book to be for beginning readers. All About Allergies is similar in content to but updates the Silversteins' Itch, Sniffle & Sneeze (Four Winds, 1978; o.p.). It will be of interest to young allergy sufferers and to students for health reports.-- Denise L. Moll, Lone Pine School, Bloomfield Hills, MI
Terkel makes clear the difference between occasional coughs and sneezes and the "ah-choos" of allergies in the first part of this good-humored yet straightforward introduction to a problem that affects many youngsters. After a well-detailed description of how IgE antibodies malfunction to cause allergic reactions, she discusses genetic predispositions, gives curious kids a peek at what allergy tests (RAST as well as intradermal and scratch) involve, and describes what can be done to treat allergy symptoms--whether giving away a favorite pet or taking allergy shots (which she's careful to say don't help everybody). In her final chapter, she briefly discusses several broad categories of allergies, among them asthma, hay fever, and reactions to food and medicines. With little else on the subject for this age level, this should be a welcome addition to the shelves. The crisp line drawings are nicely executed and sometimes humorous, though rather bland.