Remember four years ago — er, four months ago, when schools across the country closed due to COVID-19 and distance learning began? Now that it’s summertime, kids are asking parents if and when they’ll ever get to go back to school — plus plenty more questions about the pandemic. “When will we see our friends again?” 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 storytime?
There are plenty of free or donation-based digital coronavirus-themed books and coloring books out there these days to answer your kids’ questions and more. These educational books, which can be printed or read online, explain the coronavirus to kids on a rudimentary level — or at least lighten the mood and make them feel less alone. Because 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 coronavirus kids’ books (and coloring books) to educate, promote positivity, and hopefully get everyone some sleep.
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A version of this story was originally published in May 2020.