Unlike any cartoon villain of yore, the orb-shaped title character of a new children’s coloring book seemingly floats across the pages wearing a menacing sneer, a suit of spikes and, strangely enough, a crown.
But the crown has special import. As readers learn, crown is another word for “corona.”
As in coronavirus.
Mindful that patients and other kids are hearing scary-sounding news about the coronavirus, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has created a coloring book intended to help give them a better understanding of the infectious agent behind the pandemic.
Over its 10 pages, “Learn About the Coronavirus” explains how the virus is spread and can make people sick with an illness called COVID-19, which is short for coronavirus disease. It lists the symptoms and emphasizes the importance of washing hands, not touching the face, and maintaining a safe distance from others.
“People in many parts of the world have gotten sick because coronavirus spreads easily from person to person,” reads one caption above a picture of the spiked-orb being propelled through the air by a child’s cough or sneeze.
St. Jude has created instructional materials before, including a coloring book called “Spread the Word about Handwashing and Not the Germ.”
The coronavirus coloring book explains not just the dangers of the pandemic, but how to keep calm.
“A way not to worry as much is to share your feelings and ask for help. If you are worried, don’t be afraid to tell someone,” the book’s conclusion says. “St. Jude is here to take care of you.”
Some much-needed reassurance in a troubled time.