Illustrator Axel Scheffler has helped to rush-produce a children’s book that aims to help parents explain the coronavirus pandemic to their children.
The 62-year-old, best-known for his immediately recognisable illustrations for Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo, was among the team who turned the book around in the space of a week.
The BBC reports that the idea came after Scheffler’s publisher spoke to a head teacher in east London, who told her that families felt “helpless” about how to broach the subject with their children.
“I asked myself what I could do as an children’s illustrator to inform, as well as entertain, my readers here and abroad,” Scheffler said in a statement.
“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.”
The book addresses issues including parents who are stressed from working at home, and not being able to see grandparents, with advice drawn from a child psychologist and a professor of hygiene.
Professor Graham Medley, Professor of Infectious Disease Modelling at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: “This pandemic is changing children’s lives across the globe and will have a lasting impact on us all. Helping children understand what is going on is an important step in helping them cope and making them part of the story – this is something that we are all going through, not something being done to them.
“This book puts children IN the picture rather just watching it happen, and in a way that makes the scary parts easier to cope with.”
The book had been downloaded by more than a million people and translated into more than 45 languages since being published on 6 April.
News sourced from: The Independent