Children's books on COVID-19

book cover 'Duma says: let's Live! Collector's edition'Many children’s book on COVID-19 have been published over the last 18 months, not only by mainstream publishers but also by creative parents, teachers, and international and non-governmental organisations. The ASCL library has recently acquired a couple of these books that were created in Africa. The books present a striking picture of this exceptional time. They are about uncertainty and sadness, about measures such as washing hands and keeping your distance, about consequences such as not being able to visit one’s grandparents and not being allowed to hug, but also about the nice things that are still possible, such as calling each other and playing outside.

Printed publications
book cover 'Die virus in die woud'Among the printed COVID-19 children’s books in the ASCL collection is Die virus in die woud (in Afrikaans, by Wietske Boon, with illustrations by Jokie Boshoff). This South African children’s book tells the story of COVID-19 as experienced by the loving animal characters in the greenest forest. It tackles such questions as: What is a virus? What does isolation mean? And what do the animals do to protect themselves from the virus? Another new acquisition is the Rwandan picture book, Twirinde koronavirusi (in Kinyarwanda written by Oliviette Nyiraminani, with illustrations by Toni Bakatubia), in which a mother explains to her child what the virus is, how it spreads, and what one can do to prevent it.

Free online books
book cover 'The virus-stopping champion'When COVID-19 tightened its grip in 2020, numerous individuals and organisations produced free online content to educate, entertain, and support children and families. For example, NABU, a New York-based non-profit organisation, created a COVID-19 Health Collection with the support of experts in the field of health, neuroscience, and child development, and a team of authors who pitched in to create compelling, information-rich stories. Created in Rwanda and illustrated by Rwandan illustrators, the stories were published in Kinyarwanda, and also made available in English for families globally. Another example is the Dutch Tanzania Foundation, which made the digital book Aisha and Moses: Together strong against the coronavirus, which is also available online for free in English, Kiswahili, ChiChewa, and ChiShona to inform children in Tanzania and Kenya about the coronavirus.
For more free e-books for children about the coronavirus / COVID-19, see the list below.

Help with expanding the ASCL collection of free African children's books about corona is very welcome. Please let us know which titles are missing in our collection: Thanks in advance!

Free African children’s books about the coronavirus / COVID-19

East Africa

Aisha and Moses strong against coronavirus! / Author: Els van Hemert; Illustrators: Mieke Linssen. - Dutch Tanzania Foundation: [Weert], 2020.


All I need to know about corona virus : an activity book for early learners / Written by: Brenda Brewer Moore; Illustrated by: Roland Seh Washington. - [KEEP-Liberia]: [Place of publication not identified], 2020.


Count Cough-ula / Author: Michael Ross; Illustrator: Odile Uwera. - NABU: New York, 2020.

Counting ways to stay safe / Author: Michael Ross; Illustrator: Emmanuel Bagirishya. - NABU: New York, 2020.

I love you / Author: Michael Ross; Illustrator: Bruno Iradukunda. - NABU: New York, 2020.

My back to school bubble / Author: Hilary Rogers; Illustrators: Kevin Ntwali, Odile Uwera, Emmanuel Bagirishya & Bruno Iradukunda. - NABU: New York, 2020.

Shami and Nana learn about COVID-19 / Otaala Johnson. - Kigali: School Book Distributors, [2020]

The virus-stopping champion / Author: Hilary Rogers; Illustrator: Kevin Ntwali. - NABU: New York, 2020.

South Africa

Duma says: let's Live! Collector's edition / Written and illustrated by Nathi Ngubane. - Social Bandit Media: South Africa, 2021.

Keto and Zuri learn about COVID-19 / Roche, the Kolisi Foundation, One-By-One Target Covid Campaign and Transnet. - Jive Media Africa: [Pietermaritzburg], 2021.

Yola and the trusted crown / Written by Siphokazi Madlingoz; Illustrated by Thabiso Gcwensa. - Coronation Fund Managers: Cape Town, 2021.

Let all kids know about coronavirus and COVID-19 / Author: Unathi Sihlahla; Illustrator: Theodore Key. - INMED Partnerships for Children: South Africa, 2020.

Where did everyone go? / Ian S. Thomas. - [Ian S. Thomas]: [Place of publication not identified], 2020.

See also the New York City School Library’s collection of free COVID-19 children's books.