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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
This Covid business is downright scary. It’s not just children who are frightened; adults are, too. But, it’s most difficult for young children to understand. That’s where Jake comes in. Jake’s a dog who lives with a loving family. When Covid suddenly hit, Jake had to mask up and follow the rules just like everyone else. He couldn’t understand why his favorite stores were locked up and his favorite park where he played with his friends was closed. But Mom did her best to keep him busy. They played charades, did yoga, learned how to bake, planted a garden, and basically enjoyed each other’s company. Oh yes, and Jake learned the importance of reaching out to help others.
Chris Hardy’s picture book story (well, really, it’s Jake’s book), Jake and the Pandemic, is a clever and humorous way to open up the discussion for young readers so they can try to better understand what’s happening in the world around them. Jake might be a dog, but he’s also just as affected and confused by the pandemic as young children (and adults, too). Like everyone else, what Jake misses the most are his friends. The author (with Jake’s help) weaves a clever, and sometimes lighthearted and humorous, plot that outlines Jake’s new world: the restrictions and the confusion and what he misses most. With bold and colorful illustrations, this story will appeal to young readers and hopefully help them understand this very complicated new world in which we live. When Jake learns from his Mom that there’s a vaccine to stop the spread, he’s hopeful that things will return to normal, his kind of normal, that is. In spite of the restrictions we’ve all had to endure, there is always hope. Beautifully told and presented.