The official spokesperson on the coronavirus pandemic, since its beginnings, has been the World Health Organisation. But in many ways, WHO’s instructions - whether in terms of language or accessibility - are not available to or helpful for everyone in the same capacity.
Children, for instance, are largely excluded from the dialogues on coronavirus that adults the world over are having. But this free bilingual e-book - written entirely in English and Arabic - is a colourful guide to the crisis, made especially for ‘courageous children’ to help them learn about the pandemic and act accordingly.
Coronavirus: A Curious Guide for Courageous Children is written by scientists and illustrated by artists in a friendly storybook-style. Tracing the origins of coronavirus from Wuhan, China, to how it has spread quickly and effectively around the world, the book makes the virus into a quirky character in a very non-threatening manner, but still maintains an instructional approach, explaining in clear, simple instructions how to keep it at bay.
The book project was started by Italian science association Pleiadi, and was translated to Arabic in collaboration between Art Jameel, an independent arts organisation in the Middle East, in an effort to include and involve children around the world in the conversations surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. It’s now being translated into 30 different languages.
With schools still closed and children’s routines disrupted, the book acts as ”an essential tool that enables parents, guardians and teachers to communicate calmly and effectively the measures taken in cities around the world,” according to Art Jameel. The book will also soon be available in audio as a story-time version in both English and Arabic.
All photos courtesy of Art Jameel.
The book is available for free on Jameel Arts Centre website.