This free digital book will help you explain coronavirus to your kids - and features art from the Gruffalo illustrator

Illustrator of the popular children’s book The Gruffalo, Axel Scheffler, has helped to release a free digital picture book to help children understand the coronavirus pandemic.

The book, released on 6 April by Nosy Cow Publishing, addresses popular questions about how someone contracts the virus and whether or not there's a cure, along with the pressing, ‘What's going to happen next?’

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How can I access the book?

Nosy Cow Publishing has made the book available online in PDF (portable document format) format, to help parents of children aged between five and nine years old better explain the current crisis.

Addressing the release in a statement on the publisher’s website, Managing Director, Kate Wilson said, "We were very aware that many parents and carers are struggling to explain the current extraordinary situation to children, many of whom are frightened and confused.

"We thought that the best thing we could do would be to use our skills to produce a free book to explain and, where possible, reassure children. We asked Axel, whose work is so familiar and so loved, to illustrate it. He was happy to do it, and did it extraordinarily quickly."

Speaking about his involvement, Axel Scheffler said, “I was glad when my publisher, Nosy Crow, asked me to illustrate this question-and-answer book about the coronavirus.

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“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.”

Where does the information in the book come from?

Parents can be sure to trust the information in the book, which has had expert input from Professor Graham Medley, Professor of Infectious Disease Modelling at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, as well as a child psychologist and two head teachers.

In the publisher's online statement, the company also encourages youngsters to ask, ‘How can I help?’, as well as suggesting on the back of the book that parents donate funds to NHS charities.

Donations can be made at

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