The perfect picture book for families with young children to share and make sense of the changes in their lives brought about by Covid 19 and to bring reassurance. An insightful, topical, and practical picture book story about a family coping with the changes brought about by Covid 19, from the much-loved Jamila Rizvi. Inspired by her own child’s experience, Jamila wrote I’m a Hero Too to help children make sense of the changes to their world and to help them feel empowered and reassured about how they can be a hero at their house too! A story for our time right now, but also for all times, as children will always need reassurance about change.
I’m a Hero Too by Jamilia Rizvi & Peter Cheong
My name is Arty, and today I feel sad.
I used to put on my backpack and walk to kinder with Mum…but not anymore.Not since Mum started talking in whispers and closing the doors. She says, “This is not a conversation for little ears.”
I used to drink hot chocolate at the cafe with my dad…
Here’s Arty having a hot chocolate.
…but not anymore. Not since Dad stopped wearing a suit and catching the train. Dad works in the study now and says, “Please, stop disturbing me.”
I used to do ballet and footy and play at the park with my friends…but not anymore. Not since someone put up a fence around the jungle gym. There’s a sign that says, “Don’t climb on the playground,” even though that’s what it’s for.
I used to visit Granny at her house. I used to play with the old dog, Russell, and the funny phone that’s stuck to the wall. I used to make pikelets with Granny. She always let me lick the wooden spoon. I used to cuddle Granny…
…and give her lots of kisses all over her face…but not anymore.
Granny and I can still go for walks together. It’s my favourite thing to do. Now we hold each other’s hands instead of each end of the skipping rope. In our game, the rope has to stay perfectly straight.It can’t get droopy or saggy in the middle. Not once, not ever. Mum and Dad tell me, “This is how we keep Granny safe and do our bit to flatten the curve.
My name is Arty, and today I feel cross. Since the virus arrived, everything is ruined.
Ow.The grown-ups cry now, and I thought grown-ups weren’t supposed to cry. Makes my tummy go swirly and bubbly inside.
I told Dad about the funny feeling in my tummy. And he said…”The world has changed a lot, hasn’t it, Arty?”I nod. My tummy doesn’t like all the changes.”Dad!” I said suddenly. “I have an idea. Maybe the world should change back the way it was.”
Dad said, “That sounds like a really good idea, Arty. Guess what? Somebody you know is helping to do just that.”
My mum is a somebody. She’s a scientist. She still goes to work because her job is making medicines. And she’s going to make a brand-new medicine to help us fight the virus. I wonder if the medicine will taste like strawberry or orange? Or maybe cherry, because Mum is super-smart, and she thinks of important stuff like that.
My name is Arty, and today I feel excited. Because I’ve got a plan…and it’s a really good one! I’m going to be a hero and fight the virus, just like my Mum.
Heroes wash their hands for 20 seconds, scrubbing front and back and the fingertips too, because that tricky virus knows how to be invisible. Heroes never drink from the water bubbler or touch supermarket trollies, because while the virus is here we’re pretending that everything is lava.
Heroes try very hard not to touch their faces or put fingers in their mouths, because that sneaky virus can hide, just like a ninja. Heroes coughs… Sorry. Heroes cough into their elbows and their tissues go straight in the bin, …because the virus can go from a sneeze to a person with supersonic speed.
Fighting the virus is an important job, and I have other important jobs as well. I get dressed quickly so my mum doesn’t have to ask twice. And I let her rest when she comes home from work.I listen to my dad when he uses his important voice and wait patiently until his video call is done to finish our puzzle. I use coloured sparkle pens to draw pictures for my granny and post the best ones to her house in an envelope with a stamp.
I know that the virus won’t last forever. One day, we can go back to the cafe again. And I’ll go to ballet, and footy, and kinder too. And maybe I’ll play on the new flying fox at our park, which I haven’t had a turn on yet. Not even just one go.
I know that soon I will be back with my granny, and we can use the skipping rope just for skipping again.
My name is Arty, and today I feel like a hero.
Do you want to be a hero, too?
I’m a Hero Too Book Read Aloud YouTube Video
So what conversation will you have with your child after reading this book?
Some questions you might like to ask are:
Is this a conversation for little ears?
This is not a conversation for little ears.
Arty Plays with what?
He used to play with the old dog.
Since the virus arrived what happened with things?
Since the virus arrived, everything is ruined.
What other conversations or questions might you add? Please leave a comment below.
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