A new children’s book that aims to change the narrative around COVID-19 has been launched. “Hope, Where Are You?” also gives children and families hope during these times of the pandemic and school closures.
“Hope, Where Are You?” is the story of six children around the world who are experiencing school closures because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each story follows a similar pattern of children’s frustrations/challenges, finding their hope and sharing their hope with others.
Along with the six children, the illustrated characters of ‘Hope’ and ‘Germ’ add a humorous twist. Armand Doucet and Elisa Guerra, globally recognised teachers, collaborated to write this book, which was illustrated by Ana Ragu (Elisa’s daughter).
Social and emotional development
The book is a global resource to support children and their families impacted by the pandemic and associated school closures. It seeks to provide a source of hope and a meaningful context for children to talk about the current situation while nurturing their social and emotional development. “The book aims to portray the voices of children and their particular stories during the pandemic,” said Canadian teacher and co-author Armand Doucet. “It showcases how we face different problems amidst the pandemic and how the human connection brings us closer to finding hope. A teacher, a parent, a grandparent, a sibling, a friend, a neighbour, and even yourself: there is always someone who can help you get through difficult times.”
He added “we hope that teachers can use this book to help have those difficult discussions, start a conversation of hope, talk about global citizenship in relation to their own personal stories, hope for their community and so much more”.
The book is in 20 language editions and will be available in a free PDF format across multiple platforms, such as Apple Books, Amazon Kindle, and the Google Play store.
Support for UNICEF COVID-19 Response
The authors also acknowledge that many children and families will not have access to the book for many reasons and that is one of the reasons why it will be provided free of charge.
However, for individuals and families who want to contribute to positive changes in their local and global communities during these challenging times, the authors would like to encourage those who can afford it to purchase a print-on-demand version and donate to the UNICEF COVID-19 Response, which supports the world's most vulnerable children.
Creating a hope movement
“Hope, Where Are You?” further aims to create a Hope movement (#hopewhereareyou) through a public relations and social media campaign showcasing hope through social and global solidarity.
To add depth to what the book can provide, the global team of volunteer educators also used their expertise to create an education ecosystem behind the project. This includes a parent/carer guide on how the book can be used with children to support a range of social and emotional skills as well as provide a context for discussion.
For more information about the book and materials around it, click here