SAN ANTONIO – Like most parents, Tedi McVea, a licensed clinical social worker, and her partner tried their best to explain the coronavirus to their 4-year-old son, Dax, and why his classes were now on a computer screen.
“When we were staying home from school, he actually thought he was sick,” McVea said. “In his little 4-year-old logic, he was like, ‘Oh my gosh! I have the coronavirus.’ He was very anxious. He was very concerned.”
That’s when Mcvea knew she had to take things a step further.
“In the book, we talk about new germs or novel germs,” McVea said. “We really wanted to respect the CDC guidelines, but we still wanted to connect that to an accessible medium for kids.”
McVea began to write “I Know About Germs,” a children’s book aimed for ages 2 through 8. The book tells the story of a little boy named Little Science who knows all about different types of germs. His mission is to teach other children about germs and how to stay away from them.
McVea explains that in the book, “germs, in general, are these little bad guys that can enter your body and make you sick and some are trickier than others. Right now we’re faced with more tricky germs.”
McVea said Little Scientist also teaches kids to stay calm.
“It’s gonna be okay because you have an army of superheroes inside of you, too, which is representative of the immune system.”
Although words such as coronavirus, COVID-19 or pandemic are not mentioned in the book, the illustrations by Noel De La Mora, an illustrator and graphic designer from Mexico, depict the virus.
McVea said she wanted to keep the ideas in the book general due to the continual developments of the virus.
“(In the book) we talk about general concepts, like trying to stay home or that school may look different,” McVea said. “The idea is that the parents can use (the book) as a springboard to then talk about their kid’s specific questions or what specific changes they’re seeing happen in their life.”
According to McVea, the feedback from parents has been overwhelmingly positivity.
“Even though we’re all kind of isolated in our homes, like across the country, we’re still seeing all these kiddos come together and share examples of when they’re reading the book,” she said. “It makes me happy to hear that kids are getting like comfort from that.”
Recently, a local mom and owner of Narwhal Sensory Box, Sofía Garza, collaborated with McVea to create kits for kids based on “I Know About Germs.”
“She created this great box that allows kiddos to manipulate random sensory objects to kind of stimulate their imagination, related the science,” McVea said.
Through the book and activities like the sensory box, McVea said Dax now has less anxiety and feels safer because he understands that his body can fight off the bad guys if he keeps his distance from people and washes his hands.
The “I Know About Germs” e-book and hardcopy, published by Auris Book Press, can now be purchased for less than $10.
To order your copy, click here.
For parents that want to connect with the author, visit her Instagram page here.
More information on Narwhal Sensory Box can be found on Instagram.