"Learn About the Coronavirus," is a colouring book created by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, USA, to help patients, children in general, understand the virus and its associated health problems.
Under an electron microscope, the Coronavirus looks like a particle covered with protein spikes. But in this whimsically illustrated colouring book, it is represented less clinically. It could have a pointy exterior and a mean grinning look, that shows the menace it really is.
"We know sometimes that medical things like diagnoses are difficult to understand because they're under the surface or they're very small and not something we can see. So coming up with a visual for it gives children a reference. It makes the information a little bit more digestible,” said Rachel Schmelzer, Child Life Specialist.
The book is a way of informing children without panicking them unnecessarily, things like "Did you know that when you wash your hands, germs like Coronavirus go away?" and "Coronavirus is a big word, but did you know that 'corona' means crown because when you look at Coronavirus under a microscope, a part of the virus looks like a crown” are to be found in it.
"The main focus is to keep in mind the audience for the piece," said Emily VanGilder, the graphic designer who drew and designed the colouring book. "It was a challenge, I didn't want to make the virus too scary. I tried to go for a little more mischievous look, rather than make him a villain,” she added. “I think bringing creativity into any type of situation can help relax and turn something that could potentially be scary into a learning experience."
This colouring book is "a resource we produced for everyone” and it can be downloaded for print-outs through the St. Jude "Together" website at together.stjude.org, informed Marvin Stockwell, St. Jude Director of Media Relations.
They are so pleased with the colouring book that a sequel has been developed following the colouring book. "Learn About Coronavirus and COVID-19" is an activity book aimed at "tweens" (ages 10-13, more or less) that includes crossword puzzles, word searches and information that is useful for – as the saying goes – kids of all ages.
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