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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Who Are Our Heroes? A Reminder to Say “Thank You!” in the Time of Coronavirus and Beyond is a children’s social issues picture book written by Eliana Melmed and illustrated by Amy Tian. Many of us visualize caped crusaders when we think of heroes, but, during this pandemic, there are so many heroes out there who don’t wear capes or fly through the air. It doesn’t take much to realize who they are sometimes. Simply looking out your window will get you a peek at some everyday heroes, like the mailman, the garbage collector, and the delivery person. Teachers work hard at creating challenging classroom material to educate kids who now attend class from the living room or dining room table, via Zoom. And there are other heroes out there, millions of them, all essential workers. So while it’s lonely being stuck inside all the time, and it feels like forever, kids can see superheroes everywhere they look -- even in the mirror -- if they think about it. Every time they wash their hands and follow the procedures for staying safe and avoiding the virus, they become superheroes as well.
Eliana Melmed’s Who Are Our Heroes? helps kids see beyond the restrictions of their own radically changed lives and appreciate the people out there who are risking their health taking care of all of us. The biggest thing adults can do for kids during this challenging time is to give them information, keep them in the know about what is happening with the virus and how it’s being handled out in the world. She also shines a light of appreciation on young readers themselves for what they do to keep themselves and their family members safe and healthy. Amy Tian’s fun pen and wash illustrations enhance the author’s message and make each hero come to life. Books like this one help kids understand and cope with what is for all of us an unprecedented situation. And it’s written in language suitable for both reading aloud at storytime and for young readers to work through on their own. Who Are Our Heroes? is most highly recommended.