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Best children's books about coronavirus

Best children's books about coronavirus
Even adults are finding it hard to get their heads around the new "normal" – so how can you help your child understand how and why the coronavirus pandemic has up-ended our lives? Whether you're reading to a preschooler or want your tween to have scientifically-accurate facts, these free, downloadable eBooks will help you explain COVID-19 to kids.

A Message from Corona

A Message from Corona by Charity Tedder and Leighton Noyes

​Written by final year dental student Charity Tedder and beautifully illustrated by artist Leighton Noyes, A Message from Corona explains how the virus has travelled around the world and why hand-washing, social distancing and lockdown are so vital. It's clear and informative and can be read to young children or self-read by ages 6-7 and above.

Charity is the daughter of eminent virologist Professor Richard Tedder, who is at the forefront of research into the coronavirus; he has endorsed the book and helped to ensure that all text provided is correct.

The eBook and complementary interactive puzzles are free to download, but funds raised from donations will support NHS and key worker charities.

Staying Home

Staying Home by Sally Nicholls and Viviane Schwarz

Author Sally Nichols is spending lockdown at home with her family, her husband and four-year-old and two-year-old. In Staying Home, a family of raccoons go through a day in lockdown – there's no school, no nursery, no work outside the home, but lots of hand-washing, time together, a daily walk and lots of questions about what's happening (and when it's going to end).

A wonderful and warm way to explain to the youngest members of your family how they're doing their part to save lives just by staying home, Staying Home might become a new favourite read, even after this crisis is over. Download it for free and read more about how Sally's daily experiences inspired the story.

Coronavirus: A book for children

Coronavirus: A book for children by Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson, Nia Roberts & Axel Scheffler

What is the coronavirus? How do you catch it and what happens if you do? Is there are coronavirus cure? What can we do to help the coronavirus helpers and when will life return to normal? In simple language, Coronavirus: A book for children answers kids' most common questions about COVID-19, and the fantastic illustrations from The Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler make the book's format and style reassuringly familiar (and comforting for grown-ups, too!).

The digital eBook for primary-school age children aged 5 to 9 is free for anyone to read on screen or print out. It was written by publisher Nosy Crow's staff and had expert input from Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, two head teachers and a child psychologist.

Exploring The New Coronavirus: A Comic Just for Kids

Exploring The New Coronavirus: A Comic Just for Kids by Malaka Gharib

Based on a US radio story from NPR education reporter Cory Turner, who interviewed experts from the University of Illinois School of Social Work, the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans and he National Institute of Mental Health, Exploring The New Coronavirus: A Comic Just for Kids answers kids' common questions about coronavirus.

Download and print the free ezine in English, Spanish or Chinese.

My Hero is You, Storybook for Children on COVID-19

My Hero is You, Storybook for Children on COVID-19 by Helen Patuck

Produced by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings using survey results from 1700 parents, caregivers, teachers and children in 104 countries, My Hero is You is a story developed for and by children around the world.

A picture book about the health heroes around the world who are working to resolve the coronavirus emergency, the eBook is suitable for children aged 4 to 8 and is available to download for free in 26 different languages.

What You Can Do About COVID-19

What You Can Do About COVID-19 by Scott Emmons

Perfect for younger children and preschoolers, What You Can Do About COVID-19 is an information book for kids to colour in, a spoonful of creative, artistic sugar for the wash-you-hands, stay-at-home instructions you share with your children 15 times a day. Download the file for free; if you can, you can also make a charity donation.

​The Book of Hopes: Words and Pictures to Comfort, Inspire and Entertain Children in Lockdown

The Book of Hopes: Words and Pictures to Comfort, Inspire and Entertain Children in Lockdown Edited by Katherine Rundell

A wonderful collection of short stories, poems, essays and pictures edited by Katherine Rundell and including contributions from more than 110 renowned children’s writers and illustrators, including Lauren Child, Anthony Horowitz, Michael Morpurgo, Liz Pichon, Axel Scheffler, Francesca Simon and Jacqueline Wilson.

The collection, published by Bloomsbury, is free to read online and dedicated to the world's doctors, nurses, carers, porters, cleaners hospital workers.

Winnie and Wilbur Stay at Home

Winnie and Wilbur Stay at Home by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul

Over 9 million Winnie and Wilbur books have been sold – and now the famous witch and her big black cat Wilbur are staying at home, like all of us. Luckily they find plenty to do, from online exercise classes to baking, painting and reading stories. Winnie even makes a magic rainbow for her neighbours when they're clapping for carers!

Winnie and Wilbur Stay at Home is free to read online on the Oxford University Press website.

The Big Thing

The Big Thing by Angela Meng and Alexander Friedman, illustrated by Alvaro Gonzalez

A picture book collaboration from writers, artists and translators from China, the US, Latin America and Europe, The Big Thing explains the COVID-19 crisis through the eyes of a five-year-old girl, teaching children about the concept of silver linings and how to find them in their changed lives.

The book is free to download and available in eight languages, with proceeds of print copies going to Covid-19 charities.  

Hotel Flamingo - Life in Lockdown

Hotel Flamingo - Life in Lockdown by Alex Milway

Anna's hotel is no ordinary hotel: all of her staff and guests are animals! In the Hotel Flamingo series the doorman is a bear, a mouse helps in the lift and a lemur acts as a receptionist, but there is always a warm welcome to be had. Read about Anna and her array of animal friends in a free, downloadable Hotel Flamingo story set in pandemic times, and find out how the team comes together to help their community and spot all the silver linings of lockdown life.

Gaspard and the Quiet Day


Gaspard can't understand why it's so quiet outside. Where IS everyone? Peter the Cat explains social distancing and Gaspard helps Finty deliver sweet treats to all their neighbours in this special Gaspard story, read by the author Zeb Soames and illustrated by James Mayhew.

The Princess in Black and the Case of the Coronavirus

The Princess in Black and the Case of the Coronavirus by Shannon and Dean Hale

The Princess in Black fans will love to see heroes assemble to defeat a germ so tiny we can't even see it by washing hands, staying at home and making some space. A great, comic book reminder of public health messages from a hugely popular chapter-books role model.


Coronawho? by Dr. Claire Standley, Dr. Hannah Smith and Dr. Eleanor Southgate

Written by three friends, doctors and mums of preschoolers to help their own children process the changes brought about by the pandemic, Coronawho? is a gentle, reassuring story about a little girl who can no longer do the things she loves – but finds different ways to make every day special. The free eBook is available online and has also been translated into French, Spanish, German and Welsh; all proceeds from the sale of the paperback edition will be donated to UNICEF.

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