Picture Books for a Pandemic: Our Top 3

Life may never be the same again.  As adults, we will remember 2020 for the rest of our lives.  In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic will become a page in history for future generations. 

But how will our children remember it?

I hope they will remember their family homes, their backyards, their siblings, dressing up, building forts, racing bikes, getting crafty, home cooked meals, playing pretend, being bored and of course reading in the laps of their parents. 

Picture books are the perfect platform for helping children to: understand what is going on in the world around them; talk about big feelings; and highlight what is truly important.

So we here three must-read picture books in the pandemic of 2020 when ‘the world caught a germ’:

1. ‘Wherever you are my love will find you’

by Nancy Tillman

Nancy Tillman has nailed it again with this perfect picture book for the current climate of social distancing and self-isolation.  It helps to explain to your little people that although we can’t physically see our extended family and friends at this time, their ‘love will find you’.

“I wanted you more than you ever will know, so I sent love to follow you wherever you go.

So climb any mountain…climb up to the sky!

My love will find you. My love can fly.”

The illustrations are magical.  The words are heart-warming.  It is the perfect book for every parent, grandparent, aunty or uncle to read to their favourite little person before bed (maybe on Skype?) to make sure they know just how loved they are.

2. Tiny The Invisible World of Microbes

by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Emily Sutton

What a complicated topic made so simple!  This non-fictional book made for young children explains how microbes are mostly good and make up all creatures great and small. 

“You know about big animals and you know about small animals…
but do you know that there are creatures so tiny that
millions could fit on this ant’s antenna?”

While the word ‘germ’ is being used in our houses, on our televisions and across the globe more than ever before, this picture book cleverly spreads facts not fear.

“…the wrong kind of microbes – the kind we call germs – get into your body to make you sick. Luckily, only a few kinds of microbes can make humans sick. Most microbes are busy doing other things.”

A fascinating read for both children and parents alike.  We cannot recommend this book highly enough and although the concepts are difficult, the explanations and illustrations are brilliantly simple.

3. Just for Today

by Jan Phillips and illustrated by Alison Bonds Shapiro.

Last but definitely not least, ‘Just For Today’ is a book for modern-day, busy families.  A book that celebrates being present with your children, practising gratitude and appreciating the little things in life.

‘Just for today’ is a story of a bear family who decide that they will stop all the boring chores and distractions to simply have fun and play.

“So just for today…

We’ll breakfast on popcorn, And talk about our wishes.

We’ll make paper airplanes soar, And forget about the dishes.”

It also helps parents to know that during these unprecedented times (and anxiety-inducing situations), our children might also need an extra pat, hug or kiss and to remember how fortunate we are to have each other.

“So let’s give thanks for all we have, For nothing could be better.

Than knowing there’ll be other days, When we will be together.”

Picture books are our passion! We love the messages they convey not only to children but to the big kids in the household too. We are paediatric Speech Language Pathologists and mums who believe in the powerful combination of picture books and play to build oral language skills and grow creative, confident communicators.  Check out our 6 month memberships for pre-schoolers, our Little Birdie Bags for educators and our themed gift boxes online today. www.littlebirdiebooks.com.au.au/shop

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”  Dr Theodore Suess

We hope this blog post finds you and your family healthy, happy and safe in your nests during this unsettling time.

Your Little Birdies,

Tania and Janice