UVA Doctors Write Children’s Book About COVID-19
Two doctors from the University of Virginia have written a children’s book for communities of color that have been impacted by COVID-19. Dr. Ebony Jade Hilton and Dr. Leigh-Ann Webb enlisted the help of illustrator Ashleigh Corrin Webb to tell the story of Parker, a young African American boy, as he learns about COVID-19 from his parents and how the pandemic will change his day-to-day routines.
The book entitled “We’re Going to Be O.K.,” is free of charge and it’s intended purpose is to guide youth on the proper measures of staying healthy, and coping with stress and grief stemming from the pandemic. It has garnered rave reviews from readers and was even recognized as one of the top five books out of 256 entries in the Emory Global Health Institute’s COVID-19 Children’s eBook Competition.
In an article with UVA Today, Dr. Hilton reflected on the purpose behind the book. “My inspiration was fueled by knowing that the enemy of fear is information,” she stated. “So the purpose of this book was to inform and empower, while at the same time allowing for vulnerability. The addition of the latter, to allow children to express their emotions of grief and anxiety, was particularly important. We unfortunately know that some kids will experience the loss of a parent or a sibling, and we wanted them to have an outlet to write or draw out those thoughts – to give them a safe space to fully heal.”
As African American doctors working on the frontline, Dr. Hilton and Dr. Webb felt the book was necessary especially for the African American and Hispanic Communities as those are most effected and have the highest death count. It was important for children to have a guide with a reflection of someone who looks like them.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of the project was being able to create a meaningful work of art to reach all communities, but specifically communities of color,” Webb said. “As a mom of two, I know it’s important for black and brown children to see main characters that look like them. Ashleigh is a talented illustrator. She did a fantastic job.” I hope children are comforted in knowing that their feelings are valid,” Webb continued. “I hope this book helps them address those feelings and also equips them to take action using both the tips and workbook-style pages we created.”
“We’re Going To Be Okay” is designed for children of the ages 5-9 and includes not only a guide for staying healthy, but also includes worksheets and mental health support for children.
Download “We’re Going to Be Okay” here.