Picture book about coronavirus released as parents report children’s worry

An e-book aiming to “alleviate children’s fears” of coronavirus has been released after a parent reported their child “in tears” with worry over the bug.

Ellie Jackson, from Cornwall, wrote The Little Corona King in the space of 10 days after hearing that children were expressing anxiety over the Covid-19 virus.

Mrs Jackson, who has written children’s books about climate change and ocean plastic, teamed up with illustrator Laura Callwood to publish the book, which is now available in eight languages.

She said: “The book uses a gentle story to help explain the coronavirus to children and their parents or carers. It gives practical advice on dealing with the illness and preventing its spread, without frightening or upsetting children.”

The Little Corona King (Ellie Jackson/PA)

Mrs Jackson said: “A friend’s six-year-old son recently came home in tears, convinced he and his family were going to die, because of what he’d been told about the coronavirus.

“It was obvious to me that my children were picking up information about the virus from lots of different sources. My kids didn’t really understand what was going on and started getting anxious about what might happen.

“This book is not a scaremongering tactic nor is it wanting people to panic. It is a resource for parents and teachers to use to engage their primary or preschool-aged children with simple health practices, reasons why things might change, helping them adjust to possible school closures or self-isolation if needed.

“I am hopeful the messages within the book will help alleviate children’s fears by giving them the information they need to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.”

(Ellie Jackson) The author with her four children

The book explains the concepts of self isolation and school closures, as well as encouraging hand-washing.

Mrs Jackson explained that all of the medical information in the book was taken from the NHS and government websites.

The book is available online in digital format from iBooks, Google Play and Amazon.

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