Award-winning independent children’s book publisher Nosy Crow has been overwhelmed by the worldwide response to its digital book for primary school age children, illustrated by best-selling Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler.
On Monday (6th April) afternoon Nosy Crow issued a digital book FREE for anyone to read on screen or print out, about the coronavirus and the measures taken to control it. It has been written by staff within the publishing company with expert input from Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine who acted as a consultant, and advice from two head teachers and a child psychologist.
In just the first 24 hours the digital book has been accessed over 100,000 times directly from the Nosy Crow website and hundreds of thousands of times further from other hosts. Daily traffic to the Nosy Crow website, driven by the blog post sharing the digital book, has increased 100-fold against the same time last week.
To put this in perspective, the top selling Children’s World Book Day 2019 title sold 66,601 copies by volume in its first week (TCM data provided by Nielsen).
Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo, said:
“I asked myself what I could do as an children’s illustrator to inform, as well as entertain, my readers here and abroad. So I was glad when my publisher, Nosy Crow, asked me to illustrate this question-and-answer book about the coronavirus. I think it is extremely important for children and families to have access to good and reliable information in this unprecedented crisis, and I hope that the popularity of the books I’ve done with Julia Donaldson will ensure that this digital book will reach many children who are now slightly older, but might still remember our picture books.”
Professor Graham Medley, Professor of Infectious Disease Modelling at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said:
“This pandemic is changing children’s lives across the globe and will have a lasting impact on us all. Helping children understand what is going on is an important step in helping them cope and making them part of the story – this is something that we are all going through, not something being done to them. This book puts children IN the picture rather just watching it happen, and in a way that makes the scary parts easier to cope with.”
You can download a copy of the book here.
The book answers key questions in simple language appropriate for 5 to 9 year olds:
- What is the coronavirus?
- How do you catch the coronavirus?
- What happens if you catch the coronavirus?
- Why are people worried about catching the coronavirus?
- Is there a cure for the coronavirus?
- Why are some places we normally go to closed?
- What can I do to help?
- What’s going to happen next?
Nosy Crow wants to make sure that this book is accessible to every child and family and so the book is offered totally free of charge to anyone who wants to read it. However, the company suggests, at the back of the book, that families might make a donation to help our health service if they find the book useful: https://www.nhscharitiestogether.co.uk/. A fixed format eBook will be available for free download from all eBook retailers and pre-orders are open now.
Any views and opinions expressed do not necessarily truly reflect those of the FCBG.