In April 2020, playgrounds, nurseries and workplaces closed across Europe. Friends since school, and now all working in the field of medicine, we had been actively discussing the coronavirus outbreak for a few weeks, yet we found ourselves struggling to explain to our small children why life suddenly felt very different.
When Eleanor lamented the lack of published material on COVID-19 for preschool aged children, Claire had the answer - that we should write something ourselves. We felt that a gentle story that our kids could relate to was what was needed.
One episode of a porcine cartoon later, Claire had written the first draft of “Coronawho?”. Hannah then picked up her paintbrush and brought the story to life.
Via entirely remote methods, often whilst juggling small children, jiggling babies, writing papers and holding virtual surgeries, we have worked hard to elevate a story that was written for our own children, into a book for others to enjoy.
Unlike some other (excellent) resources, Coronawho is not an "explainer", and indeed there is little by way of scientific or medical dialogue. Instead it is a wholesome, gentle and comforting story with familiarly and homely illustrations, aimed to help guide and reassure young children through these unchartered waters.
We hope it provides some support to help your young children make sense of their experiences, both while restrictions remain in place, and later as a reminder of this truly unprecedented time.
The intention is for this story to be read to children by an adult. Every child is different so please ensure the story is right for your child.
All proceeds from the sale of the paperback edition will be donated to UNICEF
Coronawho? by Claire Standley, Hannah Smith and Eleanor Southgate is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License