Books

Seven free digital books that will help your child get to grips with Covid-19

It can be easier to explain ‘new normal’ with a story

23 February 2021 - 09:07
Help your children navigate the challenges of the pandemic by reading them a story about Covid-19.
Help your children navigate the challenges of the pandemic by reading them a story about Covid-19.
Image: 123RF/gekaskr

The world in which we’ve been living for the past year has been uncertain and ever-changing.

While adults are trying their best to cope with lockdowns and health anxieties, it is easy to forget children are also struggling to adapt to all the changes in their daily lives.  

To make explaining the “new normal” to children a little easier, many authors have taken to writing children’s books about Covid-19.

Here are seven titles which can be downloaded in several languages for free:

Oaky and the Virus

Oaky and the Virus is the seventh book in the Oaky series of fun picture books for children.

Written by Athol Williams, senior lecturer at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business, and illustrated by artist Taryn Lock, Oaky and the Virus follows an acorn and his sister, Oaket, as they learn about the coronavirus, including the appropriate measures to stay safe.

They learn why it’s important to stay home during lockdown and how they can have fun while doing so. To help them, they learn the Oaky Virus Song. Watch the video below.

Listen to 'The Oaky Virus Song' from the book 'Oaky and the Virus'.

The book also contains questions at the back for parents to discuss with their children.

The book is suitable for children between the ages of four and nine and is available to download for free in English, isiZulu, Siswati, Sepedi, Tshivenda, SeSotho, Afrikaans and Italian from oaky.co.za.

My Hero is You: how kids can fight Covid-19

Author Helen Patuck drew insights from more than 1,700 children, parents, caregivers and teachers to understand how they are coping with Covid-19 when writing My Hero is You.

Following the adventures of a young girl named Sara and a fantasy creature called Ario, the book explains to children how they can protect themselves from the coronavirus and offers suggestions for managing difficult emotions in a changing reality.

'My Hero is You: How kids can fight Covid-19'.
'My Hero is You: How kids can fight Covid-19'.
Image: Supplied

The book, suitable for children between the ages of six and 11, is the product of a collaboration between the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings and more than 50 humanitarian organisations.

It can be downloaded for free in 134 different international languages including English, isiZulu, Ndebele, Sesotho and Swahili from interagencystandingcommittee.org.

Nabu’s Covid-19 health series of children’s books

Nabu, a non-profit organisation working to address the imbalance in children’s book creation and distribution, has created five books to help children understand and navigate the world of Covid-19:

'I Love You' is one of the five books in the Nabu Covid-19 Health series for children.
'I Love You' is one of the five books in the Nabu Covid-19 Health series for children.
Image: Supplied
  • I Love You details the difficulty Kwizera is experiencing in understanding why she cannot visit her grandparents;
  • The Virus-Stopping Champion addresses issues of confusion and misinformation around Covid-19;
  • My Back to School Bubble reinforces proper hygiene measures as the world slowly starts to reopen;
  • Counting Ways to Stay Safe gives children tips on how to practice safe social distancing; and
  • Count Cough-ula helps to lighten the anxiety caused by Covid-19.

Working with health, neuroscience and child development experts, the books were created in Rwanda and illustrated by Rwandan artists.

They have been translated into a number of languages including English, Xhosa, Swahili and Afrikaans.

To download the books in your preferred language for free visit nabu.org.