School In the Time of the Corona Virus
Maria sings “Happy Birthday” to ensure she washes her hands for the full recommended 20 seconds. She’s preparing for the start of the new school year, one sure to be unlike any other in her lifetime. She’s worried and anxious, and her mind teems with uncertainty. She asks herself, “What will it feel like to be back in school after being at home for so long?” Though her endearing mom reassures her things will be okay, and she and her classmates received a list detailing the new regulations that’ll be put in place to ensure their well-being, Maria’s still not convinced going back to school during the pandemic will be anything less than overwhelming. She imagines the desks six feet apart, eating lunch in her classroom, and everyone – students and teachers alike – wearing masks. Sensing her daughter’s inner turmoil, Maria’s mom validates her fears and encourages her to take it one day at a time. She promises to check in with her daily once the school year begins and to guide her through addressing any difficulties. Maria’s trepidation begins to lift and images start flowing through her mind of her school mascot, as well as of playing and learning with her friends again. She concludes that though some things will be quite different, many things will still remain the same. The comfort she receives from this simple realization enables her to move forward with bravery.
At a time when sending their children back to school is at the forefront of parents’ minds everywhere and many youth are unsure of their own safety, School in the Time of the Coronavirus is a welcome and timely addition to children’s literature. The author’s background as a Clinical Psychologist, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology, and the Director of SWIM Collaboration and Innovation at Marquette University makes her an ideal candidate for addressing this topic. She portrays Maria as a young, concerned child with fears that are echoed throughout the world right now by others her age. With her thoughtful choice of words, she demonstrates the willingness of Maria’s mom to respond to her daughter with the compassion and assurance that only a mother can give. Further, Dr. Emily Mazzulla highlights the cathartic effects which the confidence and patience her mother exudes has on Maria. She shows that by listening and responding accordingly, much can be resolved.
The illustrator’s colorful array of detailed, lifelike illustrations that sweep gently across the pages add a realistic element to the text. They have an aesthetic appeal with their gorgeous hues of pink, red, purple, green, and blue. Additionally, their vibrancy shines light on an otherwise gloomy subject.
Though this book is written at approximately a third grade reading level, it will make a nice addition to the homes, libraries, and classrooms of children of a wider age range, namely those between the ages of five and nine. School in the Time of the Coronavirus may also be a helpful tool for therapists who work with youth experiencing discomfort at this time. Since the virus has not discriminated among nations, this title should have a market on an international scale.
|Author||Dr. Emily Mazzulla|
|Page Count||32 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|