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  • These Storybooks Are The Best Tools To Teach Kids About COVID-19 (And They're Free!)

    Make story time more informative and enlightening for your child.
    by Kate Borbon .
These Storybooks Are The Best Tools To Teach Kids About COVID-19 (And They're Free!)
PHOTO BY courtesy of Instagram/@nosycrow, Reggie Fajardo
  • The enhanced community quarantine in Luzon was recently extended until April 30, 2020, which means this “new normal,” where families have to stay home as much as possible and kids cannot yet go back to school, will be going on for a while longer.

    Children may still be finding it hard to grasp what exactly is going on — why they can’t go outside, why Mom and Dad aren’t going to work, why they need to wash their hands often, and more. To help them understand the pandemic (and keep them entertained!), what better tool to use than storybooks?

    May Pila Sa Tapat Ng Aming Bahay

    Here in the Philippines, a teacher named Reggie Fajardo has used his talents to create a storybook called May Pila Sa Tapat Ng Aming Bahay. The digital book was illustrated by Fajardo’s friend Julie Anne Vertudes, who is a Project Development Officer II at the Department of Education (DepEd) Cavite.

    The book follows a child who finds people outside her house lined up to get tested for COVID-19. It also touches on what COVID-19 is and what kids can do to protect themselves from infection, reminds readers that this pandemic will end, and includes short worksheets for kids to recall what they just read.

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    In a Facebook Messenger interview with SmartParenting.com.ph, Fajardo shared that the idea to create the storybook came from a conversation he had with Vertudes. “We thought of sharing a children’s story here in Facebook na maaaring kagaya namin [ay] nalulungkot din dahil hindi makalabas. Even [if] the narrative is written for the kids, para sa amin puwede rin ito sa adults.”

    The book is also a way for Fajardo and Vertudes to shed light on their advocacy for free COVID-19 testing. “I think it’s safe to say na we are being frustrated sa kung paano tinutugunan ng government itong health crisis natin sa COVID-19. So we created this book using the child to narrate how we expect the government to respond on the issue. It’s our own way to explain to a child and even an adult why is it important to conduct mass testing for COVID-19 in the Philippines.”

    Click here to download this book.

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    In The Town Of Kamayanan

    Another Pinoy-made e-storybook that can help kids understand COVID-19 better is In The Town Of Kamayanan and the Legend of the Dancing Hands, presented by the advertising agency Itch Creatives.

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    In a statement on Instagram, the creators shared that this e-storybook is the first to be made centered around the knowledge that the solution to the COVID-19 pandemic is “right in the palm of our hands.”

    “Kamayanan” comes from the Filipino words “kamay” and “pamayanan.” “These seemingly mundane words combine as ‘Kamayanan’ in the attempt to share to the world the power of a simple act of handwashing and the coming together of a community to rally and fight against a global pandemic,” the creators explained.

    You can read this storybook here.

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    Coronavirus: A Book For Children

    Nosy Crow, an independent children’s book and app publisher based in London, U.K., has also released a new book called Coronavirus: A Book For Children, which aims to enlighten kids on the coronavirus and the measures that people have been taking to help get rid of it.

    The book, which was written by Nosy Crow staff and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, comes in a very simple question-and-answer format. The questions asked in the book include everything from “What is the coronavirus?” to “What happens if you catch the coronavirus?” to “What can I do to help?”

    The book was written with the expert input of two headteachers, a child psychologist, and Professor Graham Medley, a Professor of Infectious Disease Modeling at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

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    “I think it is extremely important for children and families to have access to good and reliable information in this unprecedented crisis,” said Scheffler, who is known for illustrating the children’s book The Gruffalo, which was written by Julia Donaldson, in a press release.

    Professor Medley added that informing children about COVID-19 is a necessary step to helping them understand that this pandemic is something we are all going through together. “This book puts children IN the picture rather than just watching it happen, and in a way that makes the scary parts easier to cope with.”

    Click here or here to download this book.

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