6 Books to Help Your Children Understand the Coronavirus


COVID-19 has changed the way we live

Within a few short months, our children witnessed a major societal shift. Mask-wearing, hand sanitizer stations, and enforced social distancing have become ubiquitous in public spaces. Team sports, community events, and social gatherings were canceled or made virtual for an indefinite period. Schools were shut down. 

Children all around the world have been touched by the virus. Its lasting effects will remain present  – both physically and in our collective minds – for years to come.

During these challenging and uncertain times, how can we help our children understand the virus? And how can we help our children stay resilient and navigate these changes?

Stories can help children stay resilient 

In response to this global crisis, publishers, creators, and authors from all around the world have stepped up to help us navigate this difficult topic with our children through storybooks. 

Support your children with BookSmart

Worldreader’s books on COVID-19 are part of our Keep Children Reading initiative, our response to the global learning crisis that arose from school lockdowns. Our BookSmart library contains stories from global publishers, illustrating multiple experiences with the virus. These diverse authors remind us that although each region of the world was touched differently by the virus, combatting the virus remains a global effort.

To start reading, go to our BookSmart app here. You can also access our library of books via the Opera Mini browser. The low bandwidth required on the Opera Mini browser means that readers use less data when accessing the app.

Please note: These books are only available to read via mobile phone. What’s more, some of them are geo-locked, so you might not be able to access them in your country. We’re sorry if that’s the case!

The Unwelcome Stranger by Drew Edwards & Diana Nawatene, published by Pangea Publishing

“The Unwelcome Stranger has been here many times before and will be here many times again. Each time it comes, it disturbs us without warning. It cannot be seen, it cannot be heard, and it brings danger. […] This time it comes with the name COVID-19.”

In this story, the narrator’s grandfather explains to her the nature of a virus, and how children all around the world must collectively fight this one through preventative measures. This narrative intends to empower parents at home to discuss this subject with their own children.

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I Love You by Michael Ross, published by Nabu

“Love is one of the most powerful gifts in the world. Love can travel through the thickest walls, over the highest mountains, under the deepest valleys.”

Kwizera does not understand why she cannot see her grandparents anymore, even though she is not sick. Her mother explains to her the nature of the virus and reassures her that her grandparents still love her. Although they cannot be physically close, they are close to each other in spirit.

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Coronavirus: A Book for Children by Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson, Nia Roberts, & Axel Scheffler, published by Nosy Crow ltd.

“One day, quite soon, though nobody knows exactly when, you’ll be able to visit people you love who don’t live with you, play with your friends, go to school again and do lots of other things that you enjoy but that you can’t do now.”

This nonfiction book answers the most common questions children may have about the virus: How does it spread? What are the symptoms? Is it treatable? Why are so many places closed now? What if I get bored staying at home all the time? How can I fight the virus? By understanding the virus, your child can be part of the global effort to fight it off.

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Hello, My Name is Coronavirus by Manuela Molina Cruz, Published by MindHeart

“Hello! I am a virus, cousin with the Flu and the Common Cold. My name is Coronavirus.”

This interactive and informative picture book, narrated by the virus itself, takes your young reader on a journey of how it spreads and how it makes people ill.

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My Hero Is You by Helen Patuck, published by Inter-Agency Standing Committee. 

“‘It can feel scary and confusing when things are changing, Sara,’ said Ario. ‘When I feel scared, I breathe very slowly – and breathe out fire!’”

Sarah is upset by her school shutting down and feels unsafe due to the virus. In the evening, a dragon named Ario visits Sarah. With Ario’s protection, the two heroes travel the world to inform others about the virus and how they can all fight it together. This book is written for children around the world affected by the pandemic, inspiring them to stay resilient and informed through uncertain times.

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The Virus-Stopping Champion by Hilary Rogers, published by Nabu

“I will send my love out to everyone on earth. See? My love travels further than the virus.”

How can your child be a Virus-Stopping Champion? This short story tells your children that staying home and away from friends is a difficult, but ultimately heroic task.

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