Jake and the Pandemic

Children - Picture Book
32 Pages
Reviewed on 12/09/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Chris Hardy, a native of California, decided to finally pursue her long-time dream of writing books that touch the hearts of children and adults alike. "Jake and the Pandemic" was her first book and it was inspired by her nieces' experiences during the pandemic as well as the adorable dog, Jake, who she adopted after the passing of her neighbor. Her second book, "Jake's Dreamland: Jake and the Purple Unicorn," was released in December 2021 and her third & fourth books, "Grateful Jake" and "Jake and the Biggest Yawn Ever," were released in early 2022.

Her writing goals are to create engaging stories filled with humor, life lessons and education to not only help children but also to help them thoroughly enjoy their book reading experience.

When she isn't engaged in her creative outlet of writing, she runs her business that she has owned since 2002 selling natural products. In her spare time, she enjoys going on walks with Jake, playing tennis with her 80-year-old mom, hiking in forests, riding bikes at the beach, vacationing in Hawaii, spending time with family and being grateful for all the good that is in her life.

    Book Review

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.

Asher Syed

Jake and the Pandemic, written by Chris Hardy and illustrated by Victoria Osipova, is a children's book that follows the life of a dog named Jake as he and his family navigate a world in the grip of COVID-19. The story begins with Jake introducing himself and giving the reader a glimpse into his normal, everyday life. However, one morning after a restful night's sleep, Jake wakes up to a completely changed world. Masks, social distancing, shop closures, and online school become part of Jake's new normal in the same way it did for everyone else. As Jake struggles to remain positive when the isolation really starts to take a toll, his mom takes special care to keep Jake occupied.

Chris Hardy incorporates the hardships that have been endured during the time of COVID-19 lockdown through Jake's first-hand account of what transpired in Jake and the Pandemic. The message is one that is universal and, hopefully temporary, as we all start moving forward and old routines begin to re-establish themselves. The intent behind the story is a good one even if it is sometimes difficult to read on account of it being slightly too loquacious for a children's book, with overly dense text on most pages. The star of this book is a squirrel named Stuart who is woven into each page and brought to life alongside Jake by the immensely talented Victoria Osipova. It truly was the illustrations that kept our young daughter engaged as she pointed out Stuart on each page. Overall, this is a good little book that is relevant to the time.

Sefina Hawke

Jake and the Pandemic by Chris Hardy is a children’s picture book that would appeal most to parents with young children who like dogs. Using a first doggy (person) perspective, the author crafts a story about a dog named Jake and his experiences during the pandemic. Jake’s life underwent quite the change when he found his favorite parks and stores closed, having to wear a mask, and not being able to spend time with his friends. However, a heart-to-heart talk with his Mom helped him to embrace the positives of the situation like family games and learning to enjoy different activities like baking and gardening. Are you ready to journey through the pandemic with Jake and his family?

Jake and the Pandemic by Chris Hardy has an adorable cover image and is filled with equally cute images. The author did a simply amazing job of breaking down the pandemic in a way that young children would be able to understand without making it depressing. I particularly liked how the author focused on the positives that Jake experienced during the pandemic. The addition of the hidden squirrel, Stuart, also added a “Where’s Waldo” aspect to the book which I found quite cute. This is an ideal book for guiding children through the pandemic and helping them to understand the reality of it without scaring them. Overall, I found this book simply adorable and I liked that it could also teach the life lesson of when life gives you lemons ... make lemonade!