Book Discussion Guide

Now that you’ve had a chance to read the book COVID-19 for Kids with your children, here are some questions you can use to discuss the coronavirus with them:

  1. Do you know any people who get sick easily, just like the grandpa in the story?
  2. How do you feel when you get a cold or a flu? What happens to your body when you get sick?
  3. How would you describe COVID-19 / coronavirus? What is it?
  4. Why do you think people are so worried about COVID-19?
  5. How does COVID-19 spread?
  6. How does hearing about COVID-19 make you feel? Why?
  7. What can you do to stay healthy?
  8. What can you do to spread fewer germs?
  9. How does staying healthy yourself help others stay healthy too?
  10. What changes have you / we had to make because of COVID-19?
  11. How do you think COVID-19 is affecting other people – our neighbours, our friends, other children in the world?
  12. Do you have any other ideas of how you can help people affected by COVID-19?

We have a new book – This is Now ABCs!

We’re excited to announce that we have a new book out, This is Now ABCs: New Words and Phrases from the Pandemic. You can pickup a Kindle eBook or physical copy from Amazon!

Where is our book?

Updated September 2020:

We are so happy to see that this book is helping parents and teachers everywhere! Here are some highlights of where our book is available or being used:

Soft Cover Books:

  • PMS Publishers Services distributes our soft cover books to Singapore and Malaysia schools, libraries and book stores like Junior Page
  • Ingram Sparks is our global print-on-demand distributor and helps us with get books to places like Amazon.com
  • Pupsik Studio and Mothercare are both generously partnering with us to distribute the book and raise money for The Courage Fund
  • Preschool for Multiple Intelligences and Ascension Kindergarten in Singapore have shipped out our donated soft cover books and shared the eBook with all their students. Several MOE Kindergartens and PFC Sparkletots preschools have also given out our donated books to their students
  • KK Hospital and Tan Tock Seng Hospital have given out our donated books to their youngest patients
  • 58 donated books are available at Singapore’s National Libraries
  • Books have shipped far and wide – all the way to Canada, Hong Kong, Australia and the United Kingdom!

eBooks: Teachers and librarians from a variety of schools and programmes in Singapore are sharing the eBook for their home based learning curriculum! Here are some great examples:

  • The Canadian International School has shared the eBook with all teachers from preschool to Grade 2
  • We are proud to partner with Singapore’s Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), to distribute our eBook to 100-150 families under their KidSTART programme. The KidSTART programme provides upstream and integrated support for low-income families with Singaporean children aged 0-6. Parents on the programme receive support in skills and practical knowledge in nutrition, holistic child development and parent-child interaction
  • Also, the eBook is available in the Apple Book store

Get your book today!

Last night was a little busy…

Our first day of home-based learning was all about how an assembly line works 🙂

The whole family pitched in to help pack over 500 books last night after we got our books back from the printer! We put 3 x $0.30 sticker stamps on each envelope, slotted in a thank you note with each book, then squished in one book per envelope (the envelopes I bought were a tighter squeeze than I expected…ooops!).

Our original plan was to deliver the books we are donating to preschools right to the school, so teachers could distribute to the kids. Unfortunately with schools closing for a month starting on the 8th of April in Singapore, our books came just 2 days too late! Some schools were willing to go to Plan B with us – ship directly to the students’ homes. It was really fun making our deliveries today…

Other schools will be distributing the books to kids when they come back after this “circuit breaker” period. In addition, many teachers are sharing the eBook with their students as part of the home-based learning curriculums they are developing.

We’ve been getting some nice publicity!

We have been so excited about the publicity the book has been getting! Here’s a running list of who’s been sharing and recommending our book!

  1. 3 April 2020: Sassy Mama featured us in their monthly “What New Mama” article
  2. 6 April 2020: Little Steps Asia recommended our book and said “Educating kids about COVID-19 can be tricky! For parents looking for help in explaining the coronavirus disease in a super visual and easy to understand way, there is a new book in town.” So awesome!
  3. Mid April 2020: Ascension Kindergarten created a Home-Based Learning video where they did a book reading of our book and shared it on their Facebook page. We donated and shipped a copy of our soft cover books to every student.
  4. 29 April 2020: Power 98 Love Songs (98.0 FM) radio station DJs interviewed us!
Part 1 of the Power98 Love Songs radio interview
Part 2 of the Power98 Love Songs radio interview

5. 11 May 2020: KK Hospital’s CHAMPs (Child Life, Art and Music Therapy Programmes) included a book reading of our book in their inaugural podcast! We have also donated 200 copies of our soft cover book to the hospital for distribution to their young patients.

6. 11 May 2020: Expat Living Magazine recommended us in their May issue: “COVID-19 for Kids is a lovely picture book by Singapore based author Catherine Cheung, and a great way to help explain the current situation to kids.” See the online article here.

7. 19 May 2020: The Straits Time published a story about us too! Check it out:

8. September 2020 – The Birthday Collective featured our story in their new Generation C19 series.

What one little boy did after reading our book…

Enno was inspired to write his own book about the coronavirus after reading our book with his mom. What a great idea!

Check out his wonderful illustrations below:

Thanks for sharing this with us Enno!

Home Lockdown Activity with your Kids: Make Your Own Mask, No Sewing Required!

A couple of weeks ago, we started hearing about mask shortages in the United States where doctors treating coronavirus patients in New York were running dangerously low on N95 and surgical masks. As a last resort when no other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is available, the recommendation the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) was giving to front-line doctors at the time was to tie a bandana around your face, as that would be better than nothing at all for protection. Sewing hobbyists began rising to the challenge, sewing cloth masks to donate to hospitals.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and the CDC is now recommending that everyone should be “wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).” This is because we are now learning that a significant portion of people with coronavirus have no symptoms and even those who eventually develop symptoms can spread the coronavirus before their symptoms appear.

NPR wrote a helpful article about homemade masks you should read. There was a video linked in the article on how to make your own cloth mask from an old t-shirt, with no sewing required. I think this would be a fun and easy activity to do with your kids now that many of us are on home lockdown with schools closed. Who doesn’t have an old t-shirt or two lying around? If you have some choices, try to use 100% cotton (apparently coronavirus lives more easily on synthetics like spandex) and as thick/ tightly woven as possible. T-shirt material is required for this project because you need a fabric that doesn’t fray when you cut it.

Make your homemade mask even more fun by adding some arts & crafts dazzle dazzle! You can do something simple like draw a cool pattern with a black permanent marker or decorate your mask using fabric markers/paints/tie dye.

Make a bunch for everyone in your household, as you’ll want enough to be able take them off carefully (don’t touch the front, just the straps) and wash them after every use.

Resource List for Children

This will be a constantly updated list of great ways that people are engaging with children on the coronavirus and COVID-19 around the world. Hopefully it provides inspiration for you!

  1. Norway’s Prime Minister holds a kids-only press conference to answer questions about the coronavirus – March 16, 2020
  2. Comics for Good has launched an international challenge for kids to draw the facts about COVID-19. See submissions here.
  3. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have some helpful tips on how to talk to your children about coronavirus. Also take a look through UNICEF’s COVID-19 hub of information for families and children.

What are you doing to engage your kids? Please share in the comments below 🙂

About COVID-19 and Coronavirus

People started to notice that a new illness was making people very sick in Wuhan, a large city in China, at the end of 2019.

Scientists got to work and discovered the illness is caused by a new virus within the coronavirus family. Coronaviruses usually circulate among animals but sometimes can also infect people. SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) are serious diseases caused by other coronaviruses. 

This new coronavirus was named the “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2”, or SARS-CoV-2 for short. It causes the coronavirus disease, or COVID-19 for short.

COVID-19 has spread very quickly and widely. It was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (“WHO”) on March 11, 2020. According to the WHO, you can catch COVID-19 from infected people through small droplets from their nose of mouth. When somebody who has COVID-19 coughs or exhales, small droplets land all around them. You can catch COVID-19 by touching somewhere a droplet landed, then touching your own eyes, nose or mouth. You can also get COVID-19 from breathing in an infected person’s small droplets when you are close to them.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness and dry cough. Some infected people don’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell, while others get aches and pains, nasal congestion, sore throat or diarrhoea. Most people recover without needing special treatment, but some become very ill and have difficulty breathing. 

The WHO advises that you can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by:

  • Cleaning your hands regularly
  • Keeping at least 1 meter/3 feet distance between you and anyone coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • Staying home if you feel unwell

To find out more, please visit www.who.int