The schools are closed and the children are at home. As families crouch down and wait for the coronavirus crisis to end, how do you explain this new reality to children? What should they know to keep themselves – and others around them – safe and healthy?
Here’s a look at free reading material and a series of illustrations that convey, through age-appropriate language, what the coronavirus is and the precautions you can take to curb its spread.
Stay in your cave!
Who has terrible claws and purple quills all over their back? The monstrous Gruffalo, that’s who. The creators of this storybook monster, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, have reinvented the Gruffalo – alongside beloved characters from other books – in a series of 12 images that show how they are coping with the pandemic. The Gruffalo, for example, always maintains a strict distance of 2 meters from others when outside his cave. And Charlie Cook does good by staying home and reading to his cat and mouse.
A booklet for children
Written by the staff of Nosy Crow, an independent publishing house, Coronavirus: a children’s book addresses some relevant questions – How do you catch the coronavirus? What if you do? Why are some places we normally go closed? – in simple language, suitable for children aged five and over. The book benefited from expert input: Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine acted as a consultant. Two school principals and a child psychologist were also asked for advice. This free booklet is illustrated by The Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler.
Follow the adventures of Sara and Ario
Take to the skies on a round-the-world adventure with the winged creature Ario as he soars to the skies. “My hero is you” is a project of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies. Intended to help children (intended for 6-11 year olds) understand and accept Covid-19, it is a collaboration between more than 50 organizations working in the humanitarian sector, including the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The book has several translations available, and more are in the works. Screenplay and illustrations by Helen Patuck. Check it out reading by English singer-songwriter Howard Donald.
Why is the school closed?
In Olive stays in by Jade Maitre, the Olive school is closed, its sports carnival has been postponed, there is no one in the streets even if the weather is sunny and sunny. She is worried because she has heard that people all over the world are getting sick. Through a conversation with her father, she learns what is going on and why they have to stay home. a audio version is also available on the site.
The hard facts explained
Social epidemiologist Malia Jones combines bold designs with her hands-on approach to explaining the details of the virus and pandemic to young readers of A children’s book on the coronavirus. Here she covers all the basics and gives down-to-earth advice: what is the role of glanders and saliva in the transmission of germs? Why should you wash your hands? How can you practice better personal hygiene to keep everyone safe?
Doctor Li, the unsung hero
The newly released Doctor Li and the crown virus by Francesca Cavallo, co-creator of Good night stories for rebellious girls series, is a free downloadable illustrated book. It tells the story of the late Dr. Li and his role in trying to warn of the coronavirus outbreak. At the end of last year, Dr Li Wenliang, who worked at Wuhan Central Hospital, was among those who sounded the alarm on the virus. He got in trouble for it and was accused by officials of spreading rumors. Eventually it became a global pandemic and he himself died from the virus in February. His death sparked anger and sorrow across China. Today, he is widely regarded as a hero for raising concerns about the coronavirus despite efforts to silence him.
How about a zine comic?
American nonprofit radio station NPR went above and beyond the airwaves and released a cool zine called A comic book exploring the novel coronavirus. It’s the work of Malaka Gharib, NPR’s associate editor and digital strategist, who put together all the facts kids need to know about Covid-19 and translated them into a cut-out and foldable children’s comic. Parents or teachers can help kids download it and make a DIY zine which adds to the tactile experience. To date, the comic has been translated into several languages, including English and Chinese.