Coronavirus: A Book for Children – Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson, and Nia Roberts, illustrations by Axel Scheffler


    Coronavirus: A Book for Children – Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson, and Nia Roberts, illustrations by Axel Scheffler, Nosy Crow, an imprint of Candlewick Press, 9781536219210, 2020 

Format: Digital Book (available on Candlewick Press website http://www.candlewick.com)

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5+

 What did you like about the book? This is an awesome resource put together by Nosy Crow and Candlewick Press and should be shared with as many children and families as possible. This digital book covers everything including the definition of a virus, what is the coronavirus, how do you catch it, how does it spread, how will it impact different people, how to treat it, and a possible cure. This book also covers some areas that I think will be especially important to young children–why are schools closed, why they cannot see their friends, why some people are still working and others are staying at home, how to deal with boredom and sadness, and how they can be helpful around the house. There are several pages that really try to explain that, even though the stay-at-home orders are frustrating, these orders are very necessary to stop the spread of the virus. The book validates children’s feelings about missing their friends and activities, being tired of staying at home all the time, and just generally missing their normal routine. Here’s the part I think parents will enjoy–the book explains how children can be helpful during this time. Many parents are working at home or may be stressed about jobs and money. Children can help by being quiet if parents are on a telephone call or helping with chores around the house. This book really points out that we are all in this together and we can all come out of this together–each by doing our own part. There are also additional resources mentioned in the back of the book that might be helpful for some families.

I also loved the illustrations provided by Axel Scheffler. They are colorful, expressive, and feature a variety of people with different disabilities and skin colors (really trying to appeal to all children that will see this book). The many emotions of concern, sadness, boredom, frustration, and happiness are seen in the faces of the characters in this book–that mirror the emotions real people are experiencing every day. I especially enjoy the illustration of the person getting a vaccine with a huge smile on their face–that is important for children to see this!

Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book? This digital book is perfect for children of various ages. Younger children would be able to understand some of the material, especially about things being closed, not being able to see their friends, or parents working from home. Older children might be more interested in learning more about the actual virus, how it spreads, and the research being done to find a cure. Regardless of the age, this book is a great tool to begin discussions and maybe help alleviate some concerns or fears children might have about the virus.

Who should buy this book? This is a digital book provided for free by Candlewick Press.

Where would you shelve it? I would post this information on a library website for patron use.

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, and distribute to patrons via email or social media.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.

Date of review: April 22, 2020

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