A Very Literary Lockdown

Books for Empathy, Mental Health, Monster Bites, Non-Fiction, Picture Books, Poetry, Short Stories, Shorter Novels / Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

Well, it’s been a bit of a month or two hasn’t it? Life as we know it has changed, my library has been closed since the end of March and our service has been forced to embrace a digital way of life for the time being, along with many other services. Do check out Sheffield Libraries Blog to see all the things we’ve been doing there to promote reading beyond the library walls. I know this has also been a challenging time for everyone in the book industry, but the tenacity and adaptability of people has shone through brighter than ever before. Today I’m going to share with you, just a few of the wonderful book creations put out there for FREE to support you and your children through lockdown and beyond.

The Book of Hopes

My favourite of all book that have been produced and made available has to be The Book of Hopes from The National Literacy Trust. Featuring contributions from more than 110 children’s writers and illustrators, this book is just a joyous thing. I haven’t read it all yet as it was only released on Monday, but from what I’ve read so far I’ve laughed, I’ve been gripped and absorbed and just loved these snippets of truly quality and hopeful writing from my favourite book people. It’s a truly special creation and an absolute must read for everyone! We’re all about protecting our mental health right now, and this really is the most wonderful way to do it.

The collection, published by Bloomsbury, is dedicated to the doctors, nurses, carers, porters, cleaners and everyone currently working in hospitals. It is available to read for free now and will, in the future, be made into an actual book in support of NHS charities, so do read it now and keep an eye open for more details on the book.

Dr. Dog

For many children who’s routine and lives have been disrupted and changed this is very confusing, and it’s crucial that we explain clearly what is happening and why they are being asked to keep away from friends and family members. Dr. Dog is a collaboration between illustrator Lydia Monks and Professor James G Logan from The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine created to help children understand the current situation in a child friendly yet clear and factual format.

Lydia Monk’s’ illustrations are instantly recognisable, and perfect for this type of book, bright, friendly colourful making this a perfect book, particularly for young children who we need to help understand whilst not increasing or creating anxiety and fear. It’s really gorgeously done. The writing is clean and simple and covers everything needed with just the right level of explanation and information so as not to confuse. I would 100% recommend this book as my go to for explaining Coronavirus and the lockdown for young children.

Everybody Worries

We’re all feeling worrysome right now and that’s completely understandable. Where The Book of Hopes is a chance for older children and adults to escape those worries into other worlds and stories, this bright bold offering from Jon Burgerman gives children the reassurance that how they feel is normal, won’t last forever, and we will get through it together. The book also has a section at the back which offers really useful links to official websites which offer help for managing anxiety in children. I love everybody Worries for it’s happy, colourful and positive take on this situation, something which children will respond well to. The text is simple, fun and bouncy and a real pleasure to read out loud, I loved it.

Coronavirus A Book for Children

Nosy Crow where the first to release a book about the Coronavirus, and a lovely job they did of this. The book is full of factual and useful information from Professor Graham Medley ensuring children are well informed and educated without being frightened or misled. This ebook contains the inimitable and instantly recognisable illustrations of Axel Scheffler making it instantly appealing to children who are already familiar with his previous books. This book is already being translated into 38 different languages to allow as far reach as possible, and there is also an audio version now available for those who might prefer or need to listen rather than read, making it Wonderfully accessible. The aspect I really love about this book, is that it not only gives information about the virus, but it also contains sections focusing on feelings and empathy. How does it feel to be at home, what can children do to help and what does the future hold? All questions and concerns children may have and a really important addition to this story.

Finally, I have to say a big thank you to the people above for providing this high quality free content, to all our key workers and you for reading this Book Monster post.

Stay Safe x


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