Young children are apparently the main target audience used to create societal changes. Books play an important role in these transformations.
In the olden days—or in the days some may now refer to as the golden days—adults read books to their children such as Pat the Bunny, by Dorothy Kunhardt, books written and/or illustrated by Robert McCloskey, and Little Golden Books with precious illustrations by Eloise Wilkin, for example.
Now, a simple Amazon search can bring up hundreds of books for preschoolers concerning gender uncertainties, social justice, critical race theory, and COVID-19.
Books for preschoolers are usually quite short with appealing illustrations. These tots often request that these books be read over and over and over. Being a grandmother, I have read Pat the Bunny so many times that if I hear the words “scratchy face,” my mind immediately jumps to Daddy’s scratchy face in Kunhardt’s delightful book.
As I have mentioned in previous articles, Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909, is for children from 4-8. What image are you leaving with young children when you read that the police arrested Clara seventeen times and broke six of her ribs? And what is your little girl supposed to think when you read to her that she might be a boy? Or that instead of playing with toys or exploring the great outdoors, your kids should be getting petitions signed, making banners and posters, and marching against….something.
And now… the virus, the pandemic, the masks, social distancing, quarantining, and everything that stems from this. Are there books to “help” children understand all these things?
I have prepared a chart listing books found on Amazon for little kids concerning this topic. I have included the dates the books were published, number of pages, and Amazon review scores. Reviews may differ between hardback, paperback, or Kindle editions. Additionally, the numbers could have changed since I made this chart. 4.2/93, for example, means that there are 93 reviews with an average of 4.2 stars out of a possible 5. NL means “Not Listed.”
Unfortunately, this list is not exhaustive. I just made a decision to STOP!
The description of one of these books mentions how the “pandemic” has helped clean up the environment. I’ve already been hearing the chatter that there should be periodic shutdowns for this purpose. (A Global Reset?) Anyway, the seed will be planted in these young minds.
Another book listed on the chart is 100 Days Inside by mother and daughter authors Fionna Wright and Madison Martin. Additional information found reveals that Michelle Williams, on behalf of AT&T’s Dream in Black and Shea Moisture, awarded Fionna Wright and her daughter $10,000. Their book is about being quarantined this year. “Michelle is going to help rerelease the book by recording an audio version to include her voice as well as the voices of the original authors.”
Lily & Timmy's Super, Awesome, Incredible, COVID-19 B-Day! is described as a funny illustrated kids' book for children and parents . . . The description reads:
Luckily, Timmy and Lily’s creative and fun-loving mother saves the day while her man-child husband sanitizes, social distances, and panic-buys amidst the pandemonium.
Yep! You just can’t have a kiddie book without a supermom character and a childish husband.
“My new beautiful mask: A coronavirus children's book about and how to live together, by Amelia Green, is a story whose objective is to facilitate the adaptation and normalization of the little ones with the use of masks from a joyful and fun point of view.” This one even comes complete with a Free Lesson Plan. A Poster and Word Search based on this book are attached for further learning about Covid.
The paperback edition of Don't Touch Your Face Wash Your Hands: Children’s Safety & Hygiene – Books for Kids about Germs and Viruses – Quarantine Books for Teaching Toddlers | Preschoolers-- includes a Safety Contract your child can sign.
Goodbye CORONA was written by Anna Mouser, an advocate and campaigner on global health and vaccines for the Wellcome Trust, a major charitable foundation.
Dr. Fauci: How a Boy from Brooklyn Became America's Doctor, by Kate Messner, will be released in June of this year. It is being published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. I guess it’s important that 4- to 8-year old kids need to learn to hang on Fauci’s every word-- just as their parents do.
This would probably be a good time to add that, although pre-readers listen to these books being read to them repeatedly, the message of these books is not lost upon the adult readers who do the repeated readings.
Reviews of the books on this topic mostly fall on the endpoints. Such books will either save our world or contribute to egregious child abuse. Consider the ages of the target audience. What is their take away from such books? Could it be the following?
Mask up, dear ones, or you might be responsible for killing Grandma. Yes, you miss going out, but you’re helping to clean up the environment.
Goodnight Sally. Sweet dreams.
Between the Covers: What's Inside a Children's Book?