17 Children's Books To Help Kids Navigate Life During A Pandemic

These stories cover handwashing, germs, anxiety, separation and more.

Children’s books can play a powerful role in helping kids navigate life’s challenges. This is certainly true for the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to new books specifically about the coronavirus, there are also a number of pre-2020 books about illness, uncertainty, loss and mindfulness that are particularly relevant today.

Below, we’ve rounded up 17 books that help kids understand various aspects of life during COVID-19. Keep scrolling for a selection of books published before and during the pandemic on topics ranging from hand-washing and germs to anxiety and grief to long-distance friendship.

1
"I Don't Want To Wash My Hands!"
As the title suggests, this book covers the importance of hand-washing to prevent the spread of germs. (Available here.)
2
"The Polio Pioneer"
This book about virologist Jonas Salk offers historical context for the events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the development of vaccines. (Available here.)
3
"The Rabbit Listened"
When things go wrong, the protagonist of this story learns that others can offer comfort — even just by listening. (Available here.)
4
"Thank You, Helpers"
This tribute to doctors, nurses, teachers, grocery workers and others shows the value of the helpers in our pandemic world. (Available here.)
5
"If You Can't Bear Hug, Air Hug"
This book about social distancing highlights ways to show love from afar. (Available here.)
6
"Germs Are Not For Sharing"
This book teaches young readers about everyday ways to prevent the spread of germs. (Available here.)
7
"When The World Stays Inside"
"When The World Stays Inside" offers a positive take on social distancing amid the pandemic. (Available here.)
8
"Finding François"
This story touches on relevant topics like grief and long-distance friendships. (Available here.)
9
"The Invisible String"
"The Invisible String" helps children cope with difficult emotions like loss and anxiety. (Available here.)
10
"Lily & Timmy’s Super, Awesome, Incredible, COVID-19 B-Day!"
This uplifting book finds humor and joy in the chaos, loss and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. (Available here.)
11
"Listening To My Body"
"Listening to My Body" helps children name their emotions and figure out the physical sensations they cause to cope with hard times. (Available here.)
12
"Kelly Goes Back To School"
"Kelly Goes Back To School" helps kids navigate this unusual school year amid the pandemic. (Available here.)
13
"It's Not All Rainbows"
"It's Not All Rainbows" focuses on the important message that it's OK to not be OK and inspires kids to get through hard times. (Available here.)
14
"Monster Dance"
This upcoming multimedia book aims to keep young children comforted, empowered and informed during the pandemic. (Available here.)
15
"A Little Spot Stays Home"
This installment in the Little Spot series covers social distancing and viruses. (Available here.)
16
"Share Your Rainbow"
Illustrators bring to life the rainbows displayed in windows amid the pandemic in this book about caring for others. (Available here.)
17
"In A Jar"
"In A Jar" focuses on cherishing memories, keeping friendships alive and coping with loneliness. (Available here.)
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