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WHO, United Nations and other organisations release a children’s book on COVID-19

Through a fantasy creature Ario, the book explains to children how they can protect themselves, their family and friends from the virus.

By: Parenting Desk |
Updated: April 13, 2020 9:18:39 am
coronavirus, childrens book The new children’s book is available as an online product and audio book. (Source: Getty Images)

Is your child asking you questions about coronavirus and the lockdown? To put all their curiosity to rest, World Health Organisation (WHO) and several other organisations in the humanitarian sector have come together to create a new story book for kids on the subject.

About 50 organisations collaborated to make the book, including United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Save the Children.

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Titled My Hero is You: How Kids Can Fight COVID-19, the book has been written and illustrated by Helen Patuck, who based her work on inputs received from more than 1700 children, parents, caregivers and teachers from around the world on how they were coping with the pandemic.

who, childrens book, coronavirus New children’s book on coronavirus (Source: WHO)

Through a fantasy creature Ario, the book explains to children how they can protect themselves, their family and friends from the virus, and how they can cope with emotional turmoil in this sensitive situation.

Here is a small excerpt from the book:

As the sun rose, they landed in a lovely desert by pyramids, where a small group of children were playing. The children cried out in joy and waved at Sara and her Ario.

“Welcome, I am Salem!” cried one of the boys. “What are you doing here? Sorry, we can’t come closer, we have to stay at least one metre away!”

“That’s why we’re here!” Sara called back. “I’m Sara and this is Ario. Did you know that children can keep their neighbours, friends, parents and grandparents safe from the coronavirus? We all need to…”

“Wash our hands with soap and water!” said Salem with a smile. “We know, Sara. We also cough into our elbows if we’re sick – and we wave to people instead of shaking hands. We try to stay inside, but we live in a very crowded city… not everybody is staying home.”

“Hmm, maybe I can help with that,” said Ario. “They can’t see the coronavirus, but… they can see me! Jump on, but please sit on both sides of my wings – they are at least one metre apart!”

Ario flew into the sky with Salem and Sara on both of his wings. He flew across the city and began to roar and sing! Salem cried out to thechildren in the streets:

“Go, tell your families, we are safer inside! We can take care of each other best by staying home!” People were amazed by what they saw. They waved and agreed to go into their houses.

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The book targets readers between the ages 6-11. It is a project of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings, a unique collaboration of United Nations agencies, national and international nongovernmental organizations and international agencies providing mental health and psychosocial support in emergency settings, states a news release by WHO.

The book has also been translated into six other languages. It has been released as an online product and audio book. You can download the book from WHO’s official website.

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