Blogger Kaitlin Frick

Helping Young Children Cope with COVID-Related Changes

Recently at my library, we’ve been getting a lot of questions from teachers and parents who are looking for titles to share with their young charges as they struggle to adjust to remote learning and deal with the disappointment of not seeing loved ones over the holiday season. And even as the person who should be most prepared for this question at my branch, I’ve struggled to find just-right recommendations that will help children cope with the continued changes COVID is throwing into their paths.

So in that spirit, this post is not only a place where I will highlight the titles I have been sharing thus far but also a place where I encourage you to share recommendations you’ve made as well. This is a difficult time for all of us, and now more than ever we can all benefit from the collective skills and expertise of our fellow librarians.

Love is by Diane Adams
A little girl takes in a duckling to care for but soon learns that sometimes love means letting go. The lovely surprise at the end, when the girl and duck are reunited, may be a reassuring message for little ones who miss family and friends.

Maybe Tomorrow? by Charlotte Agell
While this story is actually about grief and loss, the characters never explicitly state this fact. Instead, Elba talks about “missing her friend,” a feeling many children will relate strongly to in our current context.

This Is My Home, This Is My School by Jonathan Bean
Drawing from his own childhood experiences, Bean shares the details of a homeschooling day. While remote learning and homeschooling differ in many ways, children unused to the concept of learning at home may find titles like this one helpful.

Big Wolf & Little Wolf by Nadine Brun-Cosme
When Little Wolf first joins Big Wolf under his tree, Big Wolf is unsure how to feel. But after spending a long, lonely time wondering where Little Wolf has gone, Big Wolf is thrilled to have his friend back.

A Very Special House by Ruth Krauss
A young boy shares all the things he loves about his house in this zany, off-the-wall classic from Krauss and Maurice Sendak.

Little Tree by Loren Long
The lovely story of a little tree who temporarily misses out on the beauty of growing and changing because he’s scared to drop his leaves, this one will hopefully soothe children afraid of the many changes they’re currently facing.

Love by Stacy McAnulty
Composed of vignettes showcasing the many ways in which we experience love, this title makes the list specifically for its spread featuring two children having a video call with a loved one. While the image was clearly aimed at active military families, many children can now relate to this way of connecting with loved ones.

And the People Stayed Home by Kitty O’Meara
A beautifully illustrated poem about the pandemic, quarantine, and hope for the future.

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
This is one I’m sure we’re all familiar with, but it feels oddly appropriate for our COVID world. Just as children heading off to school have been reassured of their caregiver’s love by The Kissing Hand, children experiencing separation from loved ones now may find hope in this story.

I Miss You Every Day by Simms Taback
A bit more on the imaginative side, this story expresses one child’s desire to mail herself to the person she misses so they can be together again.

This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: IV. Knowledge, Curation, and Management of Materials

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