Axel Scheffler has illustrated a digital book for primary school-age children, free for anyone to read on-screen or print out, about the coronavirus and the measures taken to control it. Published by Nosy Crow, and written by staff within the company, the book has had expert input: Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine acted as a consultant, and the company also had advice from two headteachers and a child psychologist.
The book answers key questions in simple language appropriate for 5 to 9-year-olds:
• What is the coronavirus?
• How do you catch the coronavirus?
• What happens if you catch the coronavirus?
• Why are people worried about catching the coronavirus?
• Is there a cure for the coronavirus?
• Why are some places we normally go to closed?
• What can I do to help?
• What’s going to happen next?
We want to make sure that this book is accessible to every child and family and so the book is offered totally free of charge to anyone who wants to read it. However, we have suggested, at the back of the book, that families might make a donation to help our health service if they find the book useful: https://www.nhscharitiestogether.co.uk/.
Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo, said:
“I asked myself what I could do as a children’s illustrator to inform, as well as entertain, my readers here and abroad. So I was glad when my publisher, Nosy Crow, asked me to illustrate this question-and-answer book about the coronavirus. 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.”
Nosy Crow Publishers have also created a free audio edition of the book, read by Hugh Bonneville. You can listen to the audio for free on Soundcloud here, and below. It is also available to download for free through the Cloudaloud audiobook app, which can be found on the App Store here.