Hayley and Eoin O'Connor with daughter's Alannah and Madison pictured at the launch
The official book launch of The Gluten Free Kid from local Nenagh Author Hayley O'Connor took place on Saturday September 14th in Eason Nenagh.
The launch was a family fun event with face painting, delicious treats from Jenny's Kitchen, goodie bags, a hamper giveaway and plenty of happy faces getting their signed copy of this wonderful new children's picture book.
The illustrator of the book, Anthony Corrigan, also attended the event, who Hayley claims "Without his talent the book wouldn't be as good. He helped bring 'Sid', the main character of the story, to life!"
The Gluten Free Kid is a children's picture book helping to explain coeliac disease to children or to anyone who would like to understand the condition. The book is for every child not just coeliacs and allows awareness to be spread, which is crucial for future generations.
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease. It only takes one crumb of gluten to potentially cause internal damage to the small intestine. No medication is available - a coeliac must follow a strict gluten-free diet for life - yet people don't seem to be aware of just how serious it can be if left undiagnosed.
Hayley says "When you are living with an invisible illness like myself, you learn everything you possibly can about the condition and educate yourself so you can protect yourself and your family. The book is essential for families. It's fun and educational, containing real medical information on the condition, and yet it's a wonderful rhyming picture book! It's beautifully balanced and I'm very proud of it." The book has been verified by Sarah Keogh - nutritionist who works with The Coeliac Society of Ireland - who are delighted that such material exists on the Irish market. A much needed resource.
Hayley and her husband are both coeliacs. Writing children's stories is a hobby Hayley has had for years but kept secret. She feared she wasn't good enough to publish them, but knowing her daughter's Alannah (3) and Madison (1) have an incredibly high chance of also developing the condition helped her to reveal her talent to her husband, and with his encouragement, led to the creation of "The Gluten Free Kid" and it's publication.
The success the book has had so far has given Hayley the opportunity to make her mark on the Irish author market and now plans to release a second book next year.
Hayley plans to do local school book readings in the coming weeks and will also be featuring at The Gluten Free Living Show on September 28 in The Green Isle hotel Dublin.
The Gluten Free Kid is out now nationwide, retailing at €7.99 in 31 locations and available in paperback and kindle format from Amazon UK. For more information see Hayley O'Connor Author Facebook page or follow her on Instagram.