There’s an old saying, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you.”
Or can it?
In the case of our young children, misinformation is much worse than no information, especially when it comes to understanding the biggest story that’s ever stared them in their masked faces: the COVID-19 virus.
In her clever, caring and informative book, "The Big Bad Coronavirus and How We Can Beat It!" (Pixel Mouse House LLC), the multitalented author and entertainer Lisa Carroll looks to shed some light on the effects of the virus, what it means, what’s true and not false, how to address it, and how to reduce anxiety and confusion around it — and convey all this to kids.
It’s unfortunate that years from now many children might reflect on their school days thinking of all the virus-induced precautions as a routine part of their lives, but that sadness won’t help them with the here and now. Enter Lisa Carroll!
STRANGE NEW WORLD
In this picture book designed for children ages 6 to 8, little Lisa is getting ready for the first day of school. She immediately notices some differences from last year: she’s wearing a mask, kids are distanced from each other on the bus, the nurse is outside at the school ready to take temperatures, and desks are equipped with tall see-through boxes that function as shields.
Her friend Alfie is not in class, having chosen a remote-learning option. When she calls him during lunch, he tells Lisa he is home because of the Big Bad Coronavirus: “It’s big, it’s bad, and it flies through the air making people sick!”
As you’d expect, Lisa is more scared than ever when she gets home, and has a bunch of questions for her mother:
What is COVID-19?
What does “antibodies” mean?
Will you get sick, Mommy?
Why do I have to wear a mask?
Why can’t Alfie come over?
Will I get sick?
How much is six feet?
Here’s where parents can take some tips from Lisa’s mom. She searches the internet with Lisa so together they can understand what’s going on — from seeing doctors research the matter in their labs, to learning the various ways the virus can be contracted, to recognizing the various symptoms to knowing what to do about them.
Lisa can’t ignore Alfie’s descriptions of the “bigness” and “badness” of the coronavirus, but when she understands the ways to stay safe, she overcomes her fear and is not as afraid. Now, through school activities, Lisa and Alfie want to educate their classmates about what they need to know about the Coronavirus.
HELPFUL AND ACCESSIBLE
"The Big Bad Coronavirus and How We Can Beat It!" is written in a manner that children can easily follow, accompanied by attractive and expressive illustrations by G.F. Newland sure to draw children in. The work also can serve as a timely “read-along” between parents and children.
InFlorida Magazine agrees. “It helps parents and educators explain the virus to children in a way they will understand, resulting in them managing the emotional disruption COVID-19 has caused.”
Throughout Carroll’s work as a writer and entertainer, she hopes to deliver the message to children that they can look awesome, be cool and lead lives that reflect positive qualities.
In this case, she shows children how being informed and having a plan can tame the “big bad” beasts of anxiety and confusion. “Following the rules and staying safe makes Lisa very, very happy!”