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Why Did the Whole World Stop?: Talking with Kids about COVID-19 by Heather Black

Why Did the Whole World Stop?: Talking With Kids About COVID-19: Black,  Heather: 9781087879024: Books

The title of this book asks a question I think many of us, not just children, have been pondering over the last few months. We have all had our lives uprooted as we deal with the effects of a global health emergency. As adults, we can become overwhelmed with all the information that is available on TV and online, and have to parse through what is accurate and current, and what isn’t. COVID-19 dominates almost every conversation that I have with a relative, friend, colleague, or cashier at a store.

Children also have questions. They always do. They ask questions from the time they get up in the morning to the time they go to bed. And right now, many kids have questions about the virus and why their world is so vastly different from the one they knew a few months ago. Some good online resources have come out, but the ones I’ve seen are mostly guides for how parents/guardians can talk to their children about COVID-19 and not for the kids themselves. This book is one of the best resources I’ve come across so far that speaks directly to kids and answers the questions that are on their minds right now. Questions like:

  • Who decided we should stay home?
  • How is COVID-19 different from other diseases?
  • What happens if you get COVID-19?
  • Is there anything I can do to help?

The book also explains how the virus got it’s name, what a pandemic is, and how different people might have been impacted. It’s very kid-friendly but would be best read by an adult and child together the first time so as to promote conversation and other questions. As we plan for the re-opening of school, I can see this book being a valuable resource for teachers, nurses, and other staff to aid in answering questions and also in being proactive about some things that kids are wondering but might not want to ask.

The best part about this book is the happy ending: “Look forward to the days when we can all get together again. Everyday things will feel exciting and new!”

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