Pandemic by Jackie French, illustrated by Bruce Whatley. Published by Scholastic.

“Hearts need food, too,” my Great Grandma said, as she picked sprigs of daphne, and roses from the rambler along the fence.

Created in two weeks, at the height of the pandemic, this timely book not only educates readers on the past, it also allows a space for us to see how humanity can work together to overcome difficulties and that this pandemic isn’t the first we have been through.

Jackie French and Bruce Whatley, both highly talented, were able to create this book – Jackie in two days and Bruce, while in hotel quarantine with limited supplies. Together with scholastic this book has been created so that children all over the world, especially Australia, can see how when we work together, we can achieve great things.

Pandemic is about the Spanish Flu which came to Australia after World War 1 when the soldiers returned home and the quick nature it had in making many people sick.

The story does not focus on the doom and gloom of this time but rather the camaraderie of the people who were not ill and the help they gave to others through cooking meals for them, caring for their gardens and livestock and even delivering flowers to brighten up the household feelings.

It shows that the little acts of kindness make a huge difference and that together we can overcome difficult times – when we reach out and care.

Pandemic is an excellent book to read out loud and allow for a discussion space with readers of all ages. It allows them to reflect on the time of the past and also the time we have just all been through.

Links to:

History – How are events of the past similar? How do people change overtime and what is similar?

Science – what are viruses?

Literacy – how can we retell events so that we learn and are engaged?

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