New storybook addresses fears and worries of COVID-19 pandemic in children


A new book released today aims to help children stay hopeful and positive during the COVID-19 pandemic. The story is the sequel to “My Hero is You: How Children Can Fight COVID-19!” », Published in April 2020.

Both books were published by a collaboration of 60 organizations working in the humanitarian sector, including the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Federation of Societies of the Cross -Rouge and Red Crescent and the MHPSS Collaborative for Children & Families in Adversity.

“My Hero is You 2021: How Kids Can Hope With COVID-19! Is inspired by the daily realities of millions of children since the start of the pandemic. For many, the pandemic continues to disrupt their education, leisure time, and time with friends, family and teachers.

The story – aimed primarily at children ages 6 to 11 – sees the return of Aro, a fantastic creature who travels the world to help children find hope in the future and joy in simple pleasures. Along with old and new friends, Ario discusses the fears, frustrations and concerns children face in the current phase of the pandemic, and explores the different coping mechanisms they can use when confronted. to difficult emotions like fear, grief, anger and sadness.

The new story is based on responses to a survey of more than 5,000 children, parents, caregivers and teachers around the world who described the challenges they continue to face in the second year of the pandemic.

Reaching children everywhere

The book is currently available in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swahili. Its predecessor is now available in more than 140 languages, including sign language and braille, and in more than 50 adaptations, in animated video, read aloud, theater, activity books and audio formats. Examples include an adaptation for Native Americans, a coloring book for children in Syria, and an animation developed by a team led by Stanford Medicine in the United States.

Since April 2020, governments, universities, non-governmental organizations, media and celebrities have partnered with the United Nations to facilitate a truly global distribution of the first book in the series. Initiatives include the deployment of audio versions and book workshops among refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh; the broadcast of an animated version on Mongolian national television; and the inclusion of the book as a free supplement with a national newspaper in Greece.

The new storybook can be used by parents and teachers in conjunction with a guide called “Actions for Heroes,” published by the same group in February 2021. Already available in over a dozen languages, the guide advises parents, caregivers and teachers on how to create the right conditions for children to openly share their feelings and concerns related to the pandemic and includes activities based on the books in the series.


The World Health Organization

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