Midwest Book Review on Celia and The Glue Man

The Picturebook Shelf   –  Children’s Bookwatch: July 2019

Celia and the Glue Man
Maggy Williams, author
Elisabeth Hasegawa Agresta, illustrator
9781615993901, $15.95, 32pp

Celia and the Glue Man

Celia and the Glue Man

Based upon the author’s experience with learning to live with Celiac disease, “Celia and the Glue Man: A Girl’s Journey to Becoming Gluten- Free and Happy” is a revealing story about a difficult journey towards self acceptance and love. Celia is a young girl with gluten sensitivity, or Celiac disease. She hates having to be different from other kids her age, and not being able to eat foods with gluten because they make her sick. Pretending that she is not gluten sensitive, she eats two frosted cupcakes at a school birthday celebration. This makes her very ill indeed! She ends up missing three days of school. The text, which is written in verse, explains her decision afterwards: “Celia was sick for three days and three long nights, regretting each one of those frosted cupcake bites. And, when she finally got better, she realized deep in her core that there could be no eating gluten. Not anymore.” Celia dreads and hates the Glue Man, but she has learned what she must do to live well with her gluten intolerance. But when Celia finally went back to school, a very cool thing happened. She met a new student, a friend named Skippy. They played happily outside together until lunch time. Celia shared with Skippy that she dreaded lunch, and couldn’t wait until it was over. Then Skippy cried and said “I can’t eat gluten, peanuts, or milk. And forget anything fried.” Celia realized she had something to offer her new friend, and that she was done feeling bad about what she could and couldn’t eat. So Celia invited Skippy to lunch, and decided to be a good friend and support her by staying away from gluten, nuts and dairy too. “Celia and the Glue Man” is a simple story feelingly told in verse, with gentle, soft colored portraits of characters and tempting foods. The whole story invites the reader to celebrate her own vulnerability, and seek happiness and love while supporting her Celiac disease with healthy diet choices.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575


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