The Staying Home series, Various authors
Covid-19 has changed the world. For our little people especially, the pandemic has caused uncertainty and anxiety. They look to us as adults for reassurance about how to act in this new, often scary, normal.
As a parent or caregiver, it can be hard to know what to say, to know what detail to provide, and how to talk about a situation that we ourselves are learning to deal with.
The Staying Home series first arose in China as a response to the lockdown there from the pandemic. This set of six books focuses on a range of different scenarios we have all experienced during these times.
Translated from Chinese by Helen Wang, there's a book about being confined to a small area and being cut off from friends and family members; one about masks; and two that focus on animals.
Grandpa's 14 Games tells the story of a family where the parents are essential workers. Grandpa comes to care for the child and together they use play to learn, and creativity to combat their troubles.
Mum is Hiding tells the story of Nina, whose Mum must self-isolate after coming into contact with the virus.
These books don't shy away from the hard or scary. But they acknowledge those feelings, validating younger readers and how they are reacting. The stories provide practical, simple ways to help reassure and work through the situation together.
The illustrations across the series are playful and bright, but more importantly they show reality. There are drawings of masks and people wearing PPE, there's viruses and empty streets. The illustrations offer both a window and a mirror, helping children understand the pandemic in an age-appropriate way.
The stories can open up a dialogue between families, providing a great space for children to articulate their fears or questions. Above all, the stories show our little ones even though things are hard right now, by working together and taking action we can get through this together.
The Staying Home series is a fantastic resource of books which can help our children cope with the changes caused by Covid-19, providing relatable situations and discussing facts without causing undue alarm.
Reviewed by: Rebekah Lyell
Twinkling Books, RRP $16.99 each