Once upon a time, six years ago — er, six months ago, we never would have dreamed that we’d be publishing a roundup of pandemic-related children’s books about masks, distance learning and more? And yet, here we are. Now that kids are heading back to school — whether virtually or IRL — they’ve got more questions about the pandemic than ever. “Is it really safe to go back?” and “Is Grandma going to get sick?” are just a couple of questions parents can’t answer with certainty. The best parents can do is tell kids the truth, acknowledge their fears, and reassure them that you’re working as hard as possible to ensure their safety and wellbeing. And what better way to do all of the above than through story time with some smart, mindful children’s books about the coronavirus pandemic and all that it has meant for kids in 2020?
There are plenty pandemic-related children’s books and coloring books out there these days to answer your kids’ questions and more. Some of these educational books, can be printed or read online or downloaded for free. Some explain the coronavirus to kids on a rudimentary level — or at least lighten the mood and make them feel less alone. Some address the struggles of virtual learning; some explain why it’s so important to do our part and wear a mask.
And reading kids these books doesn’t just help them; it also helps every parent (like, you know, Kate Middleton) who may be struggling with how to explain the virus — and the restrictions that come along with social-distancing requirements — to their kids. But with the right information, plus reassurance from animated characters and soothing words, kids can fall asleep at night with more peace of mind, thanks to these reads.
Here, we’ve listed the best pandemic-related kids’ books (and coloring books) to educate, promote positivity, and hopefully explain the chaos of 2020 just a little bit.
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A version of this story was originally published in May 2020.