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SE1 publisher produces children’s book to explain COVID-19

London SE1 website team

Axel Scheffler has illustrated a digital book for primary school age children about the coronavirus and the measures taken to control it.

SE1 publisher produces children’s book to explain COVID-19

Published by Nosy Crow – based in Crosby Row just round the corner from Guy's Hospital – and written by staff within the company, the book has had expert input.

Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine acted as a consultant, and the company also had advice from teachers and child psychologist Sarah Carman of the Evelina London Children's Hospital.

"We were very aware that many parents and carers are struggling to explain the current extraordinary situation to children, many of whom are frightened and confused," said Kate Wilson, managing director of Nosy Crow.

"We thought that the best thing we could do would be to use our skills to produce a free book to explain and, where possible, reassure children. We asked Axel, whose work is so familiar and so loved, to illustrate it.

"He was happy to do it, and did it extraordinarily quickly. Meanwhile, having heard Professor Medley interviewed by the BBC, we looked him up and wrote to him, and despite his huge workload, he reviewed the book over a weekend, and we were able to incorporate his suggestions, together with those of two head teachers and a child psychologist, into the final version of the book. We hope it helps answer difficult questions in difficult times."

Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo, said "I asked myself what I could do as an children's illustrator to inform, as well as entertain, my readers here and abroad. So I was glad when my publisher, Nosy Crow, asked me to illustrate this question-and-answer book about the coronavirus.

"I think it is extremely important for children and families to have access to good and reliable information in this unprecedented crisis, and I hope that the popularity of the books I've done with Julia Donaldson will ensure that this digital book will reach many children who are now slightly older, but might still remember our picture books."

The book can be read or downloaded for free on the Nosy Crow website.

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