A new type of Corona-virus, COVID-19, has spread all over the world since early 2020. Because its vaccine is not developed yet, it will be crucial to maintain good personal hygiene. The same guideline applies to our precious children. Our children need to be aware of the importance of maintaining good personal hygiene.
Five recommendable books about hygiene are introduced herein.
Cutie Sue Fights the Germs
(Author: Kate Melton, Illustrator: Ira Baykovska, Age range: 5~6 years)
When Sue was about to eat a cake, she had a stomachache. Then, her mom told her that bacteria and viruses cause people sick. Her mom also explained that they are very small and easy to spread.
When Sue and her brother visited a doctor with their mom, the doctor explained to them what sick people should do. Then, he handed over a leaflet about the protective measures.
Sue and her brother came home and were determined to fight germs by following what the leaflet said, such as sneezing into tissues, cleaning all the toys, and washing dirty clothes.
By practicing good hygiene, Sue and her brother got better and went out to play a few days later. They were proud of defeating the germs.
Cutie Sue Fights the Germs explains why people get sick and shows several great tips on what to do when people are sick. The book explains that recovering from disease means defeating germs, which is a great motivation for children.
The book’s cartoon-like illustrations will be another lovable feature. The monster-like viruses and bacteria will be fun to watch.
(Author & Illustrator: David Roberts, Age range: 4~7 years)
Bertie had a lot of dirty habits, such as picking up and eating a sweet on the floor, picking his nose, hunting and playing with slugs and worms in the garden, licking his dog’s face, and peeing on the flowerbed. After his family members told him not to do these things, he gave up these dirty habits. Still, there was a habit he could not give up: picking bogeys out of his nose and eating them.
Dirty Bertie is written and illustrated by David Roberts. David Roberts has authored more than 30 books, including his three series of Dirty Bertie books. All three series consist of ten books, respectively. In series 1 & 2, hygiene-related topics are mainly covered, including germs, bogeys, burp, fleas, worms, and rats. In series 3, more diverse topics are covered, such as pirate, dinosaur, zombie, horror, monsters, and aliens.
Dirty Bertie is rather for young children, but even older generations will equally love this book. By showing some typical behaviors of playful boys, the book seems to be more enjoyable for boys.
The graphics are captivating, and children will love it because this book is hilarious in their eyes. Children will comprehend the dirty habits Bertie had.
The following simple rhyme is repeated throughout the book: No. Bertie. That’s Dirty, Bertie.
Germs! Germs! Germs!
(Author: Bobbi Katz, Illustrator: Steve Bjorkman, Age range: 6~9 years)
On the first page, germs introduce themselves by saying that they live everywhere, such as in the air and on the ground. Then, they say that they are small but mighty. They keep trying to go inside our body and cause us to have a tummy ache, a cold, and the flu.
The germs introduce their enemies: hot soapy water, fresh water and sunshine, brooms, mops, and detergent, etc.
Then, their helpers are introduced: sneezing and coughing, not washing, open-skin, nose picking, meal-skipping, etc.
Germs! Germs! Germs! is written by Bobbi Katz (1933~). She has authored more than 40 books, and a lot of them are related to poems. Germs! Germs! Germs! is also a great rhyming story of what germs are and how they can be prevented.
Throughout the book, germs narrate their story. They keep emphasizing that they are everywhere. By paying attention to what the germs say, children will learn how they can be protected from being infected.
The following two rhymes are easy to follow, making children think about what germs are and what the protective measures are.
- We’re on the ground
- We’re in the air
- We’re Germs and we live everywhere
- Knock-knock, body. Let us in!
- We’ll make you sick once we begin!
Wash Your Hands
(Author & Illustrator: Tony Ross, Age range: 4~6 years)
Little princess loved getting dirty like typical children. Her mother (queen), the cook, father (king), and maid told her to wash her hands when she finished playing outside, playing with Scruff, being on her potty, and sneezing. She reluctantly followed the instructions, but she kept asking why. But all the answers she received were not quite convincing to her.
Finally, the maid explained to her that washing hands was necessary because of germs. More detailed explanations were followed, such as germs were very small, they were scary, and they would make people sick. Finally, Little princess was convinced to wash her hands.
Wash Your Hands was written and illustrated by a British author and illustrator of children’s picture books, Tony Ross (1938~). He is well known for authoring and illustrating his Little Princess books.
Adopting the character of Little Princess in the contemporary era is an impressive experiment. Note that Little Princess’s mother, queen, is wearing an apron, and her father, king, is wearing a suit and necktie.
It is important to note how the Little Princess finally understood and practiced washing her hands. The curious Little Princess did not willingly wash her hands until she understood the reason. She kept trying to learn the profound reason why washing hands was important. After she was convinced, she willingly washed her hands. The book explains clearly and effectively why washing hands is essential.
The white background makes reading comfortable, and cartoon-like illustration makes reading highly engaging.
The book keeps emphasizing, “wash your hands“.
The attached YouTube video was read by the author of the book, Tony Ross.
(Author & Illustrator: Dan Krall, Age range: 4~8 years)
The book shows the behavior of Simon who feels sick from Monday until Friday. He did not care much about his condition, and continued what he loved to do: kissing his family good morning, going to school by bus, participating in a class, and sharing snacks with friends, etc.
On the way home from school on Friday, someone said, “Nice work this week!”, to the depressed Simon on a school bus. They were germs (Virus, Protozoa, Bacteria, etc). The germs introduced themselves that their job was making people sick and thanked Simon for bringing them everywhere and spreading the disease to other people. They explained to Simon that they could spread everywhere because Simon did not wash his hands, did not cover his mouth, sneezed on everything, etc.
Then, Simon realized what he had done was not right, and started washing his hands, covering his mouth when he sneezed, etc. Afterward, Simon took a rest for the whole weekend. He got better after taking a rest, and all his friends welcomed him no Next Monday.
Sick Simon is authored and illustrated by Dan Krall. Dan Krall is an author, illustrator, and animator. He worked as a character designer of How to Train Your Dragon and Coraline. Also, he was the art director of Samurai Jack.
The book explains how germs spread with effective illustrations. The book is easy to comprehend and explains well how we can be protected from the germs.
The picture shown on the right side is visually effective. The picture shows watery noses with sick children and laughing germs. The picture will motivate our children to stay clean.