For Parents

Book Suggestions & Tips for Talking to Kids about the Coronavirus


Listening to the news, overhearing grown-ups, and talk at day care or school may cause children anxiety or fear about the coronavirus. The challenge for us as a parent, teacher or other trusted grown-up is to make sure we understand what we are trying to explain before talking to them. Several trusted medical organizations are providing accurate and continually updated information about the coronavirus so that citizens and their families can stay as informed and healthy as possible. You can find links to many of these sources here.

We have identified some materials from these trusted experts that are especially helpful when speaking to children. We have also included below a booklist of titles that may serve as comfortable conversation starters for children. Books written by authors who specialize in distilling challenging or troubling concepts or who specialize in using illustration to communicate to children can be a great support. Favorite characters are trusted childhood friends who can often make ideas stick in a way that our words alone won't.

The main messages about the coronavirus are consistent:

1. Wash your hands with soap and water.

2. Wash your hands for 20 seconds. (Sing the entire ABC lasts about 20 seconds.)

3. Wash your hands before eating, after using the bathroom, or after being in public spaces. (Like the library! Also wash them after reading library books!)

Resources to Help Talk to Children:

Fact sheets and FAQs designed especially for use with children are available from

In addition, H is for Hand Washing is an online storybook from Sesame Street that introduces young children to the universal experience of hand washing by sharing how kids wash their hands all over the world. A printable "How to Wash Your Hands" Elmo coloring sheet is also available. Wash Your Hands and Kids Want to Know: What is COVID-19? are e-books for kids available online from Unite4Literacy:

Wash Your HandsKids Want to Know What is COVID 19?Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo

For older children there is A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus based on a radio story on NPR. Experts at the University of Illinois School of Social Work, the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, and the National Institute of Mental Health all contributed to the making of the comic.

Need more help? Please call 317-275-4184 or text 317-333-6877 during regular Central Library hours or message us on social media.

IndyPL e-Books and Streaming Videos about Germs for Littles

Your Littles can stay home, rest, and learn about germs and illnesses with these comforting germ-free e-books, audiobooks, and streaming videos available with your library card. #indyplkids IndyPL_DebL

Curious George Discovers Germs

Rey, H. A.

This series is all about discovery, adventure and having fun with learning! Journey into a fever-induced dream in which George goes inside the body to learn all about germs. This adventure is jam-packed with additional science facts, real photos, experiments, activities, and more! An Axis 360 ebook.

Mr. Putter & Tabby Catch the Cold

Rylant, Cynthia

When Mr. Putter comes down with a cold, Mrs. Teaberry and her lovable dog, Zeke, come to the rescue, in a wonderful story of friendship. An Axis 360 ebook.

How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon

Several sniffling dinosaurs show what to do and not do to get better. This Kanopy streaming video is based on the lovable character book and is always available.