Numerous children’s books have been published in response to the COVID-19 global health crisis. These books are aimed at teaching children about coronavirus and encouraging them to protect themselves and others. The wave of coronavirus books is unique, being produced during a crisis rather than in its aftermath.
Many have been written and illustrated in collaboration between public health organizations, doctors, and storytellers, including Hi. This is Coronavirus and The Magic Cure both produced in Australia. These books explore practical ways young children can avoid infection and transmission, and provide strategies parents can use to help children cope with anxiety. Some books feature adult role models, but the majority feature children as heroes.
Here are the books you can check out:
Coronavirus: A Book for Children
This book has been written in consultation with an infectious diseases specialist and illustrated by Axel Scheffler of The Gruffalo, this nonfiction picture book offers children information about transmission, symptoms and the possibility of a cure, reassuring readers that doctors and scientists are working on developing a vaccine.
The last few pages answer the question “what can I do to help?”
Coronavirus: A Book for Children shows a diversity of characters taking action to manage the effects of the virus. Children are told to practice good hygiene, not to disturb their parents while they are working from home and keep up with their schoolwork. You can get the book free of cost from here.
My Hero is You! How Kids Can Fight COVID-19
Written and illustrated by Helen Patuck, My Hero is You! is an initiative of a global reference group on mental health, and is a great book for parents to read with their children. Sara, daughter of a scientist, and Ario, an orange dragon, fly around the world to teach children about the coronavirus. Ario teaches the children when they feel afraid or unsafe, they can try to imagine a safe place in their minds. You can download the book here.
The Princess in Black and the Case of the Coronavirus
The Princess in Black is an existing series, with seven books published since 2014 and over one million copies sold. In the books, Princess Magnolia enlists children to help with a problem she cannot defeat alone: here, of course, that problem is coronavirus. Magnolia and her pals encourage readers to solve the problem of coronavirus by washing their hands, staying at home, and keeping their distance.
The Novel Coronavirus: We Can Stay Safe
Ammachi, Rajiv Eipe’s beloved character seen earlier in Ammachi’s Amazing Machines, is made of stern stuff. She is staying indoors with her grandson Sooraj and ensuring they follow all guidelines and instructions related to the novel coronavirus. You can download this book from here.
The Mystery of the Missing Soap
Tobakachi, the wicked Asura of GermGram, has evil plans for the happy village of Dakshinpur. Following the advice of his trusted comrade GermaAsura, he ensures that all the soaps in the village go missing so that the coronavirus army can bring to fruition his plan of taking over India. Soon, Dakshinpur is a hotbed of illnesses as people have no access to soaps or awareness of illness-hygiene practices. It is left to Tamasha, the helpful village elephant, and the bunch of reader-leaders led by Lachmi, to come up with an idea to foil Tobakachi’s plan. You can download this book from here.
With simple messages, these books present children with individual actions that have both personal and collective benefits. Importantly, the heroes identified in these stories include children themselves. Their fears are acknowledged, but at the same time they are told they can fight the virus successfully.