New children’s book to explain Coronavirus

Piperpotamus explains Coronavirus to childrenA medical student at the University of Exeter has created cute characters and a rhyming story to explain COVID-19 to children.

FORCE Cancer Charity Information Manager Annie Kerr spotted the new book by Annis Watts online and reckons it could be useful for families with young children.

Annis, from Nottinghamshire, was inspired by the lack of clear, engaging material aimed at the three to six-year-olds age group.

The book, Piperpotamus learns about coronavirus, is free to download. It’s fun and informative and breaks down the current UK lockdown in the midst of COVID-19 into an understandable and engaging story for children.

A fourth year medical student at the University of Exeter Medical School, Annis was completing a medical humanities project to improve communication with young patients.

“Seeing on social media that people were struggling at home with their children once the UK lockdown began, I decided to create Piperpotamus as a story which could be downloaded for free to help parents explain the new coronavirus and the situation to their children,” she said.

The story has already received enormous positive feedback from parents on social media.

Annis said: “If this book can just help a few parents reduce the anxiety and confusion with their children, that’s fantastic. I’m happy my project can be put to a positive use during this time.”

FORCE has supported research projects at the University of Exeter Medical School for many years and is currently involved with the placements of Year 1 and 2 med students, throughout the year on their community placements.

“The idea of the placement is to highlight the important role of charities in the community and the support that they provide to the hospital teams that they will be working in,” said Annie Kerr.

“Placements include learning about the emotional impact of cancer, how relationships within families may change and also the practical aspects such as finances and keeping active.”