Gruffalo illustrator helps create coronavirus book for kids

The 62-year-old, best-known for his immediately recognisable illustrations for Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo, was among the team who turned the book around in the space of a week. The BBC reports that the idea came after Scheffler’s publisher spoke to a head teacher in east London, who told her that families felt “helpless” about how to broach the subject with their children.  “I asked myself what I could do as an children’s illustrator to inform, as well as entertain, my readers here and abroad,” Scheffler said in a statement. “I think it is extremely important for children and families to have access to good and reliable information in this unprecedented crisis, and I hope that the popularity of the books I’ve done with Julia Donaldson will ensure that this digital book will reach many children who are now slightly older, but might still remember our picture books.” The book addresses issues including parents who are stressed from working at home, and not being able to see grandparents, with advice drawn from a child psychologist and a professor of hygiene. From science experiments to costume parties, here are some fun things that you can do with your children at home, ensuring they are healthy – physically and mentally –during this global crisis. Get access to online educational resources that provide courses and study materials free of cost, such as Scholastic, Duolingo, National Geographic Kids and An interesting way to spend the afternoon with your children is to build a makeshift fort or den with pillows and blankets. Move around some furniture for greater accessibility and throw in a pillow or two inside the fort/den to make it more comfortable. You can start with making cookies in their favorite shapes and sizes and later move on to cupcakes or tarts.  Revamp your old Halloween costumes or encourage your kids to get creative and dress like their favorite characters and walk the runway, all in your living room! While in isolation, help your children to write hand-written notes to friends and family members whom they might be missing or thinking about. You can also turn the game into a competition – ask your children to think of a part of the floor as a water body, and the first one to clear all the obstacles without falling in the “water” would be declared the winner. There are many easy science experiments that you can conduct with your kids at home, such as creating a volcano with baking soda and vinegar, or writing with invisible ink made of lemon juice. Engage your children in brainteasers such as crossword puzzles, sudoku, chess, Pictionary or scrabble. Accompanied by music and sound effects, audio books can keep your kids engaged for a longer period of time. While indoors, you can stay active by playing games such as running through an imaginary forest, where kids can crawl and skip in places. Be it the guitar, ukulele or the piano, teach your children the basics and watch them gradually take over to create new music. Learning arts is known to have a calming and relaxing effect on the mind, and is also a good way to spend some quality time together. Take out some old photos of your family, especially of your kids when they were younger; then get some colored papers and create a scrapbook full of happy and funny memories. Use Skype, FaceTime or any other video calling apps to connect with friends and family members. Let your kid's imagination run wild as they create objects of different shapes and sizes with play dough.