Picture book authors and illustrators amaze me -- in very few pages and with minimal words they are able to address subjects that are real, are powerful and often the messages contained in them are so helpful for parents, caregivers and teachers trying to help their children understand. As this pandemic sets in to its second year I am thrilled that there are some picture books that capture the way the world is for us today.

While We Can’t Hug by Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar shows how best friends Hedgehog and Tortoise maintain their distance but make each other smile, laugh, dance, sing and feel loved. Even though not together these best friends feel loved and connected.

The Great Realization by Tomos Roberts with art by Nomoco celebrates all the positive outcomes of the pandemic. It applauds a healing earth, more connected families, a better work life balance, kindness and why hindsight is 2020.

And The People Stayed Home by Kitty O’Meara is a thoughtful and hopeful poem about the pandemic, lockdowns, and highlights the positives that many have experienced during this challenging time.

Other titles that might be helpful are Mabel’s Mask by Sarah Greenwell, Thank You, Helpers by Patricia Hegarty and Michael Emmerson, Heroes Wear Masks by Lillian Jane and How to be a Virus Warrior by Stephanie Stahl.

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