During the COVID-19 pandemic, many children have been introduced to wearing face masks and seeing others in masks. We Wear Masks, a new picture book by author, illustrator and registered nurse Marla Lesage, seeks to normalize mask-wearing by introducing young readers to all kinds of people who already wear masks in their day-to-day lives.
This delightful, rhyming picture book is a fun tool to help children make sense of our new reality and make wearing masks less scary and more relatable. It explains to young readers why wearing a mask is important as they interact with others in our communities and that, when they put on their mask, they are choosing to be kind and considerate of others.
We Wear Masks can be used as a conversation starter about COVID-19, the spread of germs and viruses, and what families can do to keep themselves and the people they care about safe. It is also available in a special ebook format for classrooms: a Digital Class Set + License to be shared with all the students in a class at the same time. A French edition, À chacun son masque, was also published by Québec Amérique.
Earlier this year, Orca published Don’t Stand So Close to Me by prolific Canadian children’s author Eric Walters. This middle-grade novel focused on a group of students who were dealing with their first experiences of distance learning and social distancing due to COVID-19.
Orca’s pandemic-focused books go beyond wearing masks, social distancing and stopping the spread of germs. With warmth and humor, they help readers of all ages consider what it means to show kindness to those around them and be members of a global community.
Praise for We Wear Masks and Don’t Stand So Close to Me:
We Wear Masks:
“A book for the moment in which we find ourselves, and it offers a ready avenue for opening discussions with our children about what is occurring in the world around them. Recommended.” —CM: Canadian Review of Materials
Don’t Stand So Close to Me:
“It’s a positive story about a very negative event that will be one for the history books. Don’t Stand So Close to Me takes readers into the pandemic of their experiences and, while teaching them important safety concerns that not all children will have learned about, reassures and provides hope.” —Helen Kubiw, CanLit for Little Canadians