Letizia Barbetta, Children's Book Author
May 15, 2012 | 16682 views | 0 0 comments | 72 72 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When Letizia Barbetta's daughter asked her if there was ever a princess who suffers from food allergies, an idea for a children's book sparked in her head.

Barbetta was born in Milan but grew up between Bayside and Flushing, and now lives in Nassau County but still works as a marketing consultant in Queens.

She has three kids, one of whom, Sofia, now 11, suffers from allergies to eggs and milk.

Barbetta came up with a story to tell Sofia before bed time about a princess who has food allergies.

"And then I decided, why not share it with other little girls and make them feel better about their food allergies?” she said.

"Kylie's Special Treat: A Food Allergy Fairy Tale,” draws on the “Cinderalla” tale, and is about a girl who loves to paint and dreams about a prince she met in art class.

Kylie receives an invitation to cook a treat for the prince.

So Kylie, along with some magical help, cooks the prince a special dessert, without any milk, eggs or nuts, which she is allergic to. Barbetta said the publishing process was her favorite part of writing the book, as she learned the most from it and discovered a new interest.

A portion of the proceeds of each book sold will be donated to The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, a non-profit organization for food allergy research. The back of the book includes a letter to parents and tips and resources for dealing with food allergies.

“My hope is that this book gets into school classrooms just to teach people that this happens to kids and let's be respectful about it,” Barbetta said. “The message I hope children take away from this book, whether they have food allergies or not, is to not let anything hold them back from reaching for their dreams.”

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