Helping kids understand the coronavirus with a picture book by local author

Posted on April 6, 2020 at 6:00 am

Illustrations courtesy:

By Sheri Boggs

If your kids have had a lot of questions or worries about COVID-19 and you’ve been struggling to find reassuring, age-appropriate resources, look no further.

Book cover of The Day My Kids Stayed Home

Adam Wallace, a graduate student in public health who is also stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base, launched a Kickstarter for his picture book on the virus (reported in this Spokesman-Review article). As of this writing the project is 168% funded, which helped him hire the illustrator of the book, and best of all, Wallace is making a PDF of the entire book available for free on Medium.


The Day My Kids Stayed Home: Explaining COVID-19 and the Corona Virus to Kids is 56 pages long and has two parts.

The first is a picture book that follows two dogs who are used to walking their human kids to school, but one day, the kids are still in their pajamas and the younger dog has a lot of questions. The older dog explains that the family is helping to slow the spread of a new virus by staying at home, forgoing their usual routines, and by washing their hands (or paws!) correctly.

The wise canine also explains what the coronavirus is, how to help prevent its spread, and how immunity works at both the individual and “herd” level.

Page from book: The Day My Kids Stayed Home

The illustrations by Malaysia-based artist Adam Riong are kid-friendly, with cool, origami-like figures in bright colors. The text is similarly empowering, describing how viruses can be thwarted with social distancing and good hygiene, ending on the reassuring message that with everyone doing their part, things will be back to normal soon.

The second half of the book is designed for parents and older kids and is more text-heavy and scientific but still approachable. The information here is presented as answers to frequently asked questions, such as “What does it mean to flatten the curve?” and “Can my pet get the virus?”

Wallace provides quality references at the end, including the Centers for Disease Control and Harvard Medical School. Paperback copies of the book are available to purchase on Amazon.

For further reading for adults, The Coronavirus Prevention Handbook, by Wang Zhou, is available in eBook format on OverDrive.

Sheri Boggs

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