4 out of 4 stars
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Written by Sheryl Crawford, Become A Covid-19 Superhero explains coronavirus prevention to young children using amiable cartoon superheroes.
A team of four young superheroes explains basic tips for preventing the spread of the disease. The information is accurately presented and follows the Center for Disease Control guidelines: wearing a mask, cleaning your hands, and social distancing. When needed, the author goes into details. For instance, singing “Happy Birthday” while handwashing, sneezing into the arms (not the hands), and proper usage of hand sanitizers.
My favorite part is what Crawford does next; amidst all the obvious tips, she informs her audience about homemade cloth masks. From a child’s perspective, a begrudging task becomes an exciting craft project. This small—but powerful—message might help shake off any covid-fatigue in children; of course, sewing masks isn’t a cure, but it can be fun! Also, the accompanying illustration showed all the materials: a sewing machine, vibrant rolls of fabric, and different styles of masks.
The author describes some symptoms of COVID-19 and didn’t shy back when showing a sick child in bed (without it being terrifying). The picture demystified the idea that young people cannot contract the virus. It is probably the most important (and positive) aspect of this little guide.
In the beginning, young readers are encouraged to become “virus-fighting superheroes”. This message of empowerment is another positive aspect; especially if you consider all the negativity surrounding the disease. Crawford’s story gives a sense of accomplishment after every handwash.
The protagonists are carefully depicted to reach as many demographics as possible. First, they are relatable to their target audience; an adult protagonist might come off too authoritative. Second, they are culturally and ethnically diverse: African American, Caucasian, Latino, and Asian.
There appeared to be two boys and two girls. I appreciated their gender-neutral uniforms: a red cape, a red shirt, and knee-high boots over black pants. Caregivers concerned with gender stereotypes might also appreciate this feature. This team of superheroes has one purpose—to fight the COVID-19 virus.
The full-page illustrations were flamboyant, detailed, and appealing. The “covid-squad” outfits were branded with an icon for each tip: a mask, a spray bottle, a soap bar, and social-distancing.
The only negative point is the different spellings of the word “Covid-19”. The acronym should be written in uppercase (COVID-19). After intense research, I found that even the media seemed to relax this “grammatical covid war”; it’s become a new sort of covid-fatigue. In any case, I didn’t dock a star for that. For the reasons stated above, I happily rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
I recommend this book for children who seem anxious about COVID-19; the friendly characters might calm them. Adults might want to assist younger readers with some of the vocabulary. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone looking for a “sight word” book.
Become A Covid-19 Superhero
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