COVID-19 explained for kids

A book that explains the COVID-19 crisis through the eyes of a five-year-old girl, The Big Thing teaches children about looking for silver linings

The Big Thing.

When the COVID-19 lockdown came into effect around the world, writers, artists and translators from China, the U.S., Latin America and Europe, collaborated on a book that is being given away for free to children all over the world.


Alex Friedman (a former senior business executive, CFO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and White House Fellow), and Angela Meng (a former journalist, investment banker and model) got together with Uruguayan illustrator, Alvaro Gonzalez, and two translators to create a story that would help children, parents and teachers across all cultures – “The Big Thing.” 


Working together during lockdown via email and messaging apps, they crafted a unique and affirming story to explain to children around the world what was happening and to help them find the positives in their changed world. The team that put this together is a truly multinational group from China, the US, Uruguay and Nicaragua. The story is available in English, Spanish and Chinese.


The Big Thing is told through the eyes of Bea, a brave and adventurous five-year-old girl. It begins with Bea learning about COVID-19, what it is, where it came from, how it spread and why we need to stay home. From there it explores Bea’s feelings as she struggles with being cut off from her school, friends and grandparents. Through Bea, the reader experiences up close the lives of those growing up in the time of coronavirus. Then, through the help of her teacher, Bea learns about the idea of a ‘silver lining,’ and how to find them in her new day-to-day existence. Suddenly, she can see the positives that were hiding right before her eyes.


This is a book about finding silver linings, about family love, duty and most importantly, resilience. Bea learns about discovering the good in the bad and notices the sky turning bluer as the world slows down and our environment begins to heal. And Bea learns how to reach out to her friends, family and teacher when things get tough, because we cannot conquer fear on our own. 


To assure the story would resonate with people from all around the world, the authors chose names that are simple to say in many languages and words that can be easily translated.


“The Big Thing” is free to read and download on in English, Spanish or Chinese. The book is also available on Amazon in Kindle and printed copy. All proceeds will go to COVID-19 charities.