Axel Scheffler, the artist behind Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo, has illustrated the newly-released Coronavirus: A Book for Children, written by Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson, and Nia Roberts. Published by Nosy Crow earlier this month, BBC calls it “one of the fastest books in history.”
The current pandemic hasn’t been easy on anyone. Anxiety-ridden parents are juggling at-home work and their kids, essential workers are risking their lives, and the recently-unemployed are now struggling to pay their bills. With the future more uncertain than ever, it can be difficult to explain to kids just what’s going on with the world.
Speaking about the book, Scheffler says,
I think it is extremely important for children and families to have access to good and reliable information in this unprecedented crisis, and I hope that the popularity of the books I’ve done with Julia Donaldson will ensure that this digital book will reach many children who are now slightly older, but might still remember our picture books.
Coronavirus: A Book for Children is available on the Nosy Crow website, where parents can download the book free of charge. The book answers questions about the way germs spread, possible coronavirus cures, and social distancing with kid-friendly language and colorful illustrations. Words that children may not know, like “vaccine,” anti-bodies,” and “ventilator,” are bolded and explained. In doing so, the book seeks to be honest with children by giving them the facts, but by also emphasizing the uncertainty of the virus. Overall, the book ends on a hopeful note, promising that “One day this strange time will be over.”
Since its release, the informational guide has been translated into 45 languages, making it accessible for children across the globe, especially those in developing countries where access to public health information may be limited.
“I’m not a doctor or a nurse,” says Scheffler, according to BBC, “but as an illustrator this was something I could do to help and I feel proud it has had this amazing response.”
You can access the book on the Nosy Crow website here.
Featured Image via Nosy Crow
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