Why We Wear a Mask

How a squirrel family is helping to stop the spread of Covid-19 (Margot the Groundhog and her North American Squirrel Family)

Children - Social Issues
39 Pages
Reviewed on 12/20/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Joanie Chevalier for Readers' Favorite

Why We Wear A Mask: How a squirrel family is helping to stop the spread of Covid-19 by Lieve Snellings is a delightful book for kids explaining why we should wear a mask during the Covid-19 pandemic. This story feels like it is just the right length, and Lieve Snellings tells it in a friendly tone so children understand that wearing a mask protects their family members who are vulnerable, like their grandparents or a parent with an underlying illness. Lieve Snellings is a talented nature photographer as well. I have had the pleasure of reading several other books by Lieve Snellings, including Margot the Groundhog and her North American Squirrel Family series, and Why We Wear a Mask does not disappoint. It has the beautiful nature photographs that Lieve Snellings is known for.

After reading Why We Wear A Mask, children will be more than happy to do so because the story is told in such an appealing and believable way. Plus, the little critters in her book are absolutely adorable! The most important message in the book is “We have to work together!” Why We Wear A Mask is lovingly written and showcases Lieve Snellings’ amazing talent as a nature photographer. I recommend this book by Lieve Snellings should be in every school and household.

Barbara Ann Mojica

I am a big fan of the Margot book series. In this new book, Margot’s family doctor, Dr. Sarah shares her concern about a new sickness affecting all her squirrel patients.

The author uses adorable photographs of squirrels exhibiting symptoms of the virus like headaches, upset stomach, shortness of breath, and sore throats to illustrate the effects of the virus in a clear but non-threatening way. Snellings shows them wearing masks because they want to protect vulnerable members of their families as well as themselves. The author explains how the disease is transmitted, and exactly what needs to be done to keep ourselves and others safe.

Young readers will inevitably be enthralled with these adorable, personified squirrel messengers of information needed to assist children in understanding this disease without alarming them. I would highly recommend it to parents and educators of elementary school and middle-grade readers.

Eugenia Chu

Wear your mask!
This book is just the cutest! I mean, who doesn’t love adorable little woodland animals? And it’s an important one for the times. Relatable, easy to understand and poignant, this book will show little ones how to stay healthy and how to help keep others healthy, too, during this horrible pandemic. Hearing advice from a squirrel doctor may even be more persuasive (and less scary) than from a human doctor! The little animal doctors even have a video conference with human doctors to learn and collaborate! The furry little cuties will explain why it is so important to wear masks in a way your little ones will understand. Seeing conscientious animals washing hands, distancing and wearing masks will encourage your littles to do the same!

Dr. Gerda Vanderhaegen

This book explains in a way that can be easily understood by children what a Covid-19 infection is. It shows how we can stop the spread of this virus and who the people at risk are. The information in this lovely story is scientifically correct and beautifully illustrated with nature photos.
Children will read, watch, and listen to it fascinated!

Barbara Upton

A lovely book and a very timely one. Children will enjoy the animals and receive an excellent message - easy to understand as well!!

Kindle Customer

Beautiful photography and delightful story illustrating a timely topic - masks.
The multi-talented Lieve Snellings combines her beautiful nature photography with prose to make a delightfully informative book on the importance of wearing masks. She approaches this topic with sensitivity and fun. Children will love it.
December 6, 2020 at Amazon

Barbara Roman

The award-winning author of the Margo the Groundhog series of books brings her talent as a nature photographer to her latest, “Why We Wear A Mask,” and provides an important and pertinent message to children. The scientifically-accurate information is presented in gentle, elementary terms that children can comprehend, and also emphasizes that CoVid affects the animal kingdom as well as humanity. Margo and her squirrel friends describe the symptoms, precautions, and medical advice that everyone should follow to protect themselves and others from spreading the disease. And, of course, there is a discussion as to what kind of masks afford the best protection.
While not making light of the seriousness of the CoVid 19 pandemic, the book is nevertheless entertaining and does provide a few sweet chuckles at the antics of the squirrels and other wooded creatures. Most of all, the story demonstrates a respect for science as well as a respect for the health and life of others, especially those most vulnerable to the virus. It holds an implicit reminder that we are all in this together, and if we pull together we will get through it - a message that children are never too young to learn. This is an important book to add to your children’s library.
BONUS: The adorable masks worn by the animal friends are available for purchase and make an appropriate gift for the children in your life.

Trisha J. Kelly

Another great read for children
Margot the Groundhog is a small book for young people to understand better how to deal with Covid-19. With the help of the fantastic photographs and bubble writing, it explains what the virus is and how to keep yourself and others safe, as best you can. This is a great series of books which, once again make teaching fun!

Ronald Craig

My girls loved this, they found it educational and really fun. They actually think animals wash their hands now. The small chipmunk was their favourite animal. (So cute my girls said) As a family we love these books and the author. Many nights of entrainment before bed. Most highly recommended children’s book’s we have read. And we have read hundreds. These books are at our top of reads.

Ellen Buikema

The multitalented Lieve Snellings combines her beautiful nature photography with prose to make a delightfully informative book on the importance of wearing masks. She approaches this topic with sensitivity and fun. Children will love it.

Marianne Reese

Educating the Young Without Instilling Fear
This story easily explains to youngsters the importance of wearing a mask and helping to protect those that are most vulnerable during a pandemic. The adorable images of woodland creatures will capture the young reader's attention while educating them about the virus without instilling fear.

Eileen Moynihan

Cute Animals Wearing Cool Masks
“The photographic illustrations in this book are brilliant. Children will love the cute animals wearing their cool masks. This book is a great tool for parents and teachers to use to explain the effects of Covid 19 and what they can do to help keep themselves and others safe. This book suits children of many ages as the writing is suitable for the 8 -12-year-old reader and the pictures can be explained simply to a 3 or 4-year-old. The children from 5- 8 years old can follow when someone reads it to them. This is a very appealing book with a good message that is very apt at the present time.”

Alma Hammond

Great book for children for these times. It must be pretty scary for them to understand why a mask has to be worn. Thanks Lieve!

Wanda Luthman

Oh my goodness, what a cute book! I love Lieve Snellings other books so was definitely interested when I saw she had such a timely message in a book for children. It is well written and the photo illustrations are adorable! I especially liked that the masks looked like the faces of each of the animals. Thank you, Lieve Snellings, for putting together another wonderful book with a very good and timely message for our children. I give it a full 5 stars!

Dakota D

Cute Aid to Help Talk with Kids About Masks and COVID
This is a really cute book that will help kids understand why it is important to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In the story, animals are getting sick so a squirrel doctor speaks with human doctors and learns a lot about how to keep his community healthy. The animals all have people they love and want to protect just as kids do, so this is a very relatable story. Obviously, this won't be anyone's first exposure to the idea of wearing a mask, but it is a great way for parents to help normalize and reinforce the habit. Also, the cute characters provide a friendly way for adults to enter into an important discussion with young kids about community health.

Kelly Mills

A beautiful self awareness story. This will be great to read to our children about the importance of wearing masks. I totally recommend this book!


We can do this together...
A cute way to explain to children and some adults, why they must wear their masks.

Oshin Alagiyawanna

In a time where everyone, both children and adults are finding it difficult to digest the new normal, Lieve introduces us to her "Why we wear a mask" making the process a little easier. By contextualizing the crisis of COVID-19 in the animal world, she brings to light symptoms as well as how safety precautions must now be adopted as habits that are often hard to instill upon children by word of advice. As stories provide stronger visuals in memory, "Why we wear a mask" ensures children have around awareness about the virus. Through her characters, she puts forth an assuring message we all are in need of, that we are in this.

Helen Pryke

Perfect for young children
This is another great book from Lieve Snellings, with gorgeous photographs and a simple, yet effective, storyline. The author's calm, reassuring narrative will help children understand the disease and the importance of protecting others, while the photos will appeal to them visually and help reinforce the message. I can see this book being used in nurseries and primary schools with great success. Highly recommend.


Endearing & Educational
This is the cutest educational book for families and squirrel lovers! Aside from cuteness, it really helps explain to kids, in a non-scary way, about our pandemic. I want to buy one for every kid in my life.

Kara R

Young readers and parents will enjoy this book! While it was a bit silly and humorous, Why We Wear Masks had an extremely important message that was easy for children to understand. The little masks on all of the animals were cute! We enjoyed reading this book together as a family and it helped generate some great discussion about Covid-19 and why we wear masks.

Maxine Sylvester

Teaching without fear
Covid has been a confusing time for adults, so we can only imagine the effect it has had on children. For any parent wanting to explain the current pandemic to their child without frightening them, author Lieve Snellings has written the perfect book for you!

Doctor recommended and with delightful characters and imagery, the story explains through a Squirrel (Doctor Sarah) how to prevent the spread of corona virus and how children can protect themselves and their loved ones by wearing a simple mask (the masks on the animals are fabulous!). Lieve uses beautiful nature photography and humour to relate the information and also explains how Covid has affected the animal kingdom.

The subject in the book is serious, but I found Why We Wear a Mask a delightful read and had a few chuckles along the way; I loved the raccoon’s comments about the ‘Zorro’ mask over his eyes and thought the video conference call between the human world and Doctor Sarah was enchanting.

Another entertaining book in Lieve Snelling’s nature series.

Book Lover

I just love Lieve's books! The photography, the message, and the sheer fun of reading them make me want to share them with everyone! This book is important right now, especially for children who may wonder why everyone is suddenly masked around them. The darling characters/animals in the book are so much fun. What a great time reading to children and helping them explore nature!


As usual, Lieve Snellings combines her fabulous photography with an important message in an easy-to-understand format for children. I always love her pictures and the enhancements done to them to fit the story. Great job.


Do educational about the Coronavirus
A wonderfully informative book about how to protect yourself against the Coronavirus. Kids will love the adorable photos of Margot and her furry friends and how they talk about the symptoms, trusting your doctor and preventative measures of the virus. Recommended!


Part of an existing series of books brilliantly adapted into a new and original story of the squirrel family adjusting to life within a global pandemic.
So to combat COVID 19 Dr Sarah squirrel (Margot’s doctor) brings information in a child relating way.
The author, Lieve Snellings through pictures of the wider squirrel family, mostly wearing masks, and simple blocks of speech bubble text shares the advice adults have now processed but sadly don’t always comply with.
Now we adults have a chance as our children will have this message, hand washing, social distancing and wearing masks presented to them in this delightful story book.
It is sound information aimed at young people in a way they can understand without feeling patronised. In this way it is inclusive, brings about conversation around issues they know are already troubling to adults.
I especially like that the science of masks is raised in terms of aerosol transmission and what a pandemic actually means for the wider world.
The pictures carry the beauty of these animals, my three year old loves to watch the local squirrels raiding the neighbours bird table by stealth and ingenuity. These resourceful animals through this inspiring book have a story to share and a message that everyone still needs to grasp.
A great book to share adult issues since the implications for the next generation will be more than the financial legacy of debt.

Cindy Davies

Once again I was thrilled to find out about a wonderful book review, now on Goodreads and NetGalley. Let me share it with you: “ I love this cute little story! I think masks can be scary for little children because they do not understand why some people chose to wear them. I think the author does a great job of explaining why we wear masks and what the coronavirus is. She gives the need to know in a way for our littlest ones to be able to understand. I appreciate the inclusion of different animals and the characters will be a delight to the ones reading the book. I highly recommend this book to parents and caregivers alike. It does not matter which side of the mask you are on, this book does an excellent job of explaining why people are wearing them, which will be helpful to all children.
Thank you to Net Galley and Books Go Social for the opportunity to read this book. I was not required to give a positive review, but was happy to do so. All thoughts and opinions are my own. »

Donna Maguire

I read this book with my daughter and she really enjoyed it

It was a little bit silly and funny but that was so great about it and the way that Covid-19 was discussed. It didn't detract from how serious everything is but I have a three year old who doesn't really understand what is going on - she just knows hands, face, space and shouts that when she sees the sign out and about or on TV.

The book has a really important message and it is pitched perfectly for the age range.

The photos were funny to see the animals with the masks on but they really helped get her engaged and it was easy for her to understand too.

Kirstie J

This book is told through the perspective of different animals and explains about the Coronavirus, and
what we can do to protect ourselves.
Its a bit silly but would appeal very highly to younger children - especially alongside the photos of the
animals wearing the masks.

Misha S

What a cute way to explain the necessity of continuing to wear our masks during this pandemic!
It even had little asterisks for definitions of bigger words.

Vicky Z

This was super cute way to explain to kids why they should wear masks. My only concern was that the
animals actually had masks on and I would be afraid that kids would try to put masks on their pets.
However, this book would be good for a conversation to start with kids.

Janet P

When life for the entire universe and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #secondwave is upon us, AND the worst sciatica attack in your life means you MIGHT sleep 3 hours a night, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do

Anissa T

Why We Wear a Mask by Lieve Snellings uses actual animal pictures to depict the symptoms of COVID 19
in a manner easily understood by young children. It was done in a way that can inform while not
overwhelming or scaring kids. Unfortunately, the times we live in make this book a necessity currently.
Advice is also given on how to make wearing a mask more effective and other safety protocols are shared.
As a mother of two children with Autism I appreciate this type of book. It falls in a category called social
stories to help children who need a little extra exposure understand new situations. All children fall into
this category, as we face the uncertainty of living in a world changed by COVID 19.

I was provided a free advance reader copy in exchange for my honest review from Net Galley. The
opinions shared in this review are my own.

Josephine B

Lots of cute photos of animals (especially squirrels) to tell a story about COVID-19. It's a well-told story with a lot of important details. Sometimes there are words that kids might not understand, but they have an asterisk with an explanation below. Great idea to help kids understand, and would be great for any animal lover since the photos are really cute.

Elif A

This is a must-read for everyone nowadays! I'm sure it will especially help children to understand the
importance of the pandemic and the use of masks as it beautifully narrated by animals. I find myself
laughing in some of the pages cause the animals are adorable! a great book.


Would recommend for school teachers
“Why We Wear a Mask” was a cute story with brilliant photographs and an important message overall. Dr. Snielling does a nice job of explaining the symptoms of Covid-19, why we need to wear masks, and the efficacy of them in a simplistic yet helpful manner that children will understand.

The dilemma I see with this book is that it would be more helpful as an info graphic for children to help explain what is going on, instead of as a long term, withstanding book. Whenever the pandemic ends, the necessity for this book will also end.

As long as the pandemic rages on, however, the need for this will be continued. This is because kids are always growing and so even if it’s been a year of Covid-19, for some children their understanding of it is only just beginning.

Josh's Poetry

Very informative. A must read guide to be completely safe during the pandemic


This short and adorable book is extremely helpful in explaining why we all need to do our part in the current situation of the world and wear masks and sanitize our hands as much as possible.

It was thouroughly researched and with clear and verified information from a healthcare professional, which I truly appreciated. Through stunning photos and to-the-point informations, this is a book that I believe both children and adults can benefit from.
(Let's face it, many many adults can be worse than children when following these rules and guidelines...)

I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend.

PS: Now I want my own squirrel mask..... LOL

Alex C

This book is part of the series Margot the Groundhog and her North American Squirrel Family.
This children’s non-fiction picture book was better than anticipated. I usually don’t like when authors use pictures of animals and make them talk to fit their story. However, in this case, it was done intelligently.

Do you want to explain to your children or students what COVID-19 is? This book explains it simply, without « dumbing » it down too much. It talks of symptoms, on how to stop the virus from spreading, on washing our hands and keeping our distance, on why wearing a mask is important. It even gives a few examples of who is more at risk and what to do to help

Tina M

An entertaining book sharing reasons why mark wearing during the Covid 19 pandemic is advised.
I loved the animals and what they had to share.

Linda Mae Hewitt

A great book for the times we live in!
Great book!! Great information. I can't wait to share with my students! It is informative, with simple explanations that they will understand. The added bonus of using animals and descriptions of different masks is a very clever addition to a really cute and helpful book! It is written in a way that my little guys, all the way up to the big boys, will understand. Especially the emphasis on what parts of the face need to be covered! Loved this! Can't wait to share!


Really cute book for children with adorable squirrel and other animal photographs telling why we should all wear masks to protect themselves and others during the covid-19 pandemic. I loved the masks on the animals and think this is a great book to help children, and maybe some adults, understand the importance of wearing masks and being extra careful during this time.

Kade G

I absolutely love the simplicity of this cover!
The book itself was unique. It’s an important topic we need to cover at this moment, clearly. I’d definitely read more by this author.

Geert Weggen

“A wonderful book! Where Lieve, as always, shows her care for animals. In a creative and simple way, she tells her story about something that is very actual in these times -why using masks during the Covid-.”

Alhan Rahimi

Amazing as usual
I love how Lieve pays so much attention to details. The images on the masks of the animals are adorable. Also, she explains difficult words to children. The photography is amazing (I don't know how she catches those right moments). Thank you for educating children on this important topic in such a fun way.

Auntie Nann

I have read each of the Groundhog books and found them to be beautiful stories. I enjoy nature photography and how Lieve brings them to life with a story. The characters in each of these books are so loveable. This book is special as it speaks about the pandemic and can teach children how to take care of each other and themselves. What a special lesson to share with the world during this trying time. I can't wait to see what our wonderful Groundhogs will be up to next.

Morris M

Using cute and silly animal photos, the author explains the importance of masks and other COVID-19 precautions to young children. It’s a brilliant way to convey important information in a non-scary way. I’m going to check out the other books in the series!

Linda Tilling

Great book for children and adults too
This is a really useful, easy to read booklet explaining in child size pieces why we are all having to wear masks. It is easy to understand and will be a great tool for schools and homes to explain to children what the virus is, how it is spread, and what we can do to help ourselves and others.

The illustrations are brilliant and the characters really cute and I really enjoyed the book.

Pamela D

'Why we wear a mask' is a great book to help children understand covid. I loved the use of real animals throughout the book, and thought they were adorable with masks photoshopped on them. It's such a cute book and I think all kids will agree.

Laurence Hovde

I like so much your photographs for the children’s book!!! I think this one is important and educational in these intense pandemic times: so scary for children, so nice they have your clear explanations.

E. Dibona

Amazing Job!
This book has taken propaganda to an entirely new level. From the artful illustration to the resplendent prose, this is a keeper. And above all else, it keeps our religion alive and thriving. Long Live Fauci! Long Live Gates! #NeverTakeOffTheMask

Hillary Daecher

Very timely book with wonderful photography
"Why We Wear Masks" is a cute story to help explain COVID-19 to children along with the benefits of wearing masks. The photography is terrific in this book and the idea is good, but I don't think this book will be able to have a long shelf life once the pandemic is over. I think children will relate to the different animals in the story though and enjoy seeing them wear masks as well.


A cute story about Covid-19.
In this book, Sarah is a Doctor. She lives in the forest with the animals’ friends.
A new sickness was spreading, and everybody is thinking how to deal with it.
It is the COVID-19. The book explains about the disease and the ways to solve it.
This is a cute book for the little kids, with a lovely story and nice illustration.

Zuzana Clark

Beautiful pictures
Why Do We Wear a Face Mask is a very interesting book dealing with a difficult topic. There are many things going on out there right now and it can be really confusing for both kids and adults. I think this book can help to open a discussion between children and parents about the purpose of face masks as a medical tool. It also explains the way an illness can be spread.
There are beautiful photographs of wildlife animals, such as squirrels or chipmunks. These cute animals tell the young reader about the issue. The amazing pictures were taken just at the right moment. The book stresses the importance of protecting the most vulnerable.
This is an honest review. Many thanks to the author for providing me with a free copy.