Elem. – Outside, Inside

Pham, LeUyen. Outside, Inside. Roaring Books Press, 2021. 978-1-250-79835-0. 48 p. $18.99. Grades Pre-K-2. 

Capturing community, perseverance, and hope, Outside, Inside by Caldecott Honor winner LeUyen Pham is a moving testimony that depicts the global Covid-19 pandemic. With encouraging words, poetic language, and gorgeous illustrations, this picture book will help young children make sense of the virus that altered their daily lives. The story begins on an unremarkable day just before the season changes. All races and ethnicities are bustling around outside when suddenly everything changes, and everyone goes inside. The outside is quieter, different, even wilder, and the inside holds laughter, tears, and growth. While the world changed outside, the people on the inside become resilient and hopeful. As the story moves forward, the author does not shy away from heartbreaking loss or skip over the unexpected good. Instead, she gently explains that we moved from the outside to the inside to protect the ones we love. Pham never downplays the seriousness of the pandemic and illustrates vivid scenes that represent upended routines, hospital stays, job loss, and even death. Yet, she also lovingly depicts loved ones on the outside protecting those that are inside. Finally, the picture book ends with a season change as hope and love blooms in the air.

THOUGHTS: Outside, Inside’s dedication is to all essential workers, first responders, and communities across the globe. It is true that author LeUyen Pham masterfully captures how all of us felt on the outside and inside as we navigated Covid-19. I believe her author’s note at the end of the picture book is just as important as the story itself. Nearly every face painted in the book is inspired by a REAL person- people who survived or succumbed to the awful virus. She also shares that the most challenging spread to illustrate was the one that explained why we sacrificed what we did because each character shown on the page gave her “both joy and pain.” In her final words, Pham notes that Outside, Inside is “a time capsule of our moment in history when the world came together as one to do the right thing.”

Picture Book          Marie Mengel, Reading SD

Elem. – Pandemics and COVID-19 (Series NF)

Pandemics and COVID-19. The Child’s World. 2021. $19.95 ea. $119.17 set of 6. Gr. 2-5.

Dolbear, Emily. How Can I Help During COVID-19? 978-1-503-85277-8.
—. What If I’m Worried About COVID-19? 978-1-503-85318-8.
Latta, Sara. What is COVID-19? 978-1-503-85276-1.
—. Who are the COVID-19 Helpers? 978-1-503-85315-7.
Laughlin, Kara L. How Has COVID-19 Changed Our World? 978-1-503-85317-1.
—. What Is a Pandemic? 978-1-503-85316-4.

The Pandemics and COVID-19 series is a kid-friendly guide for younger readers and caregivers to explain some of the issues going on in the world with COVID-19. This series provides readers with some information on items they may not be sure about, such as what a pandemic actually is and how/why is COVID-19 different from other diseases. This series provides information that is explained in a kid-friendly way, providing up-to-date information. The series also includes some ways that readers can help out during the pandemic, as well as providing a “Good News!” section that can help keep hopes up and a positive outlook toward the future.

THOUGHTS: This series provides good information on pandemics and COVID-19. The information includes colorful photographs and captions that increase the understanding of the text. The series also includes places to find more information on questions that students may have. Pandemics and COVID-19 is a great series for those who want to help by explaining information to their students/readers, but may not be sure how to do so.

362.1962-616.2 Forensic Medicine         Rachel Burkhouse, Otto-Eldred SD