Published on January 28th, 2016 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
District Five student-parent team publishes children’s book
Pictured: Emily Himler, right, and her mother, Maureen
IRMO – A Lexington-Richland School District Five student and her mother has turned their personal challenges with allergies and eczema into an inspiring new children’s book.
CrossRoads Intermediate School student Emily Himler illustrated Princess Emily and The Terrible Itch, a book published earlier this school year. Her mother, Maureen Himler, says she wrote the book as a way to showcase her daughter’s artistic skills and encourage children suffering with eczema to feel “beautiful.”
“I actually started writing the book when Emily was in kindergarten,” Maureen said. “She suffered with Eczema as a child…and it was really hard for her. I wanted Emily to know that she was beautiful as a princess and that she had a family who loved her and would do anything for her. I really hope our book can reach other children like Emily and their families and help them know they are not alone.”
The National Eczema Association estimates that more than a million school-age children in the United States suffer from severe eczema, a chronic disease that causes itchy and inflamed skin. Symptoms can range from scaling and rashes to chronic itching and open sores. Eczema is not contagious. Though allergens are commonly believed to trigger Eczema, symptoms and treatments vary widely from patient to patient.
In Princess Emily and the Terrible Itch, Prince Erich goes on a journey to help cure his sister, Princess Emily, of “the Terrible Itch.” The 38-page piece about love, friendship, and a touch of magic also contains beautiful digital illustrations by Emily, an award-winning young artist at CrossRoads Intermediate School.
“I really do hope the book can help someone learn a little bit about eczema and that people with eczema are just like everyone else,” Emily said. “My eczema is much better now because, just like Princess Emily, I had a lot of people who loved and supported me along the way.”
Since the book was released in August, Emily and her mother have held a book signing in North Carolina and copies of the book have been purchased and shipped internationally with sales as far as Ireland and Australia. Copies of Princess Emily and the Terrible Itch can be ordered online at createspace.com and Amazon.com/.
“Emily has suffered with Eczema since she was a month old, and it was a challenge from very early on. Some people thought they would catch her skin rash…it was pretty surprising that people knew so little about it at the time,” Maureen said. “We learned a lot about ourselves too…about love between parents and their children and about the lengths parents will go to support their children. I never thought I would write a book, but Emily was my inspiration. She gave me a reason and added beautiful illustrations to my words.”
When the first book arrived to the family home last year, Emily gave her mother a big hug.
“I’m pretty proud of what we were able to do together,” Emily added.