Faculty Work-in-Progress - C is for Coronavirus, P is for Pandemic: COVID-19 in Children’s Picture Books 

March 1, 2022 - 12:00 PM

Clark Hall Room 206,11130 Bellflower Road

Since the start of the pandemic, over four hundred children’s picture books about COVID-19 have been published. In her research Cara Byrne, Lecturer in the Department of English and Faculty Associate of the Schubert Center for Child Studies, has analyzed these books and found that while many aim to address children’s concerns about changing routines and new concepts and to help adults explain the evolving nature of the pandemic in concrete, clear terms and with colorful illustrations, most do not acknowledge the lack of autonomy children have, especially in making choices about attending school, wearing masks, and social distancing. In this presentation, Byrne details her findings and argues that while many of these books ultimately fail as resources for children, they provide a significant record of adults’ thoughts of the virus, of medical professionals, and of children themselves and show us how adult perceptions have changed at different points during the pandemic. And, as is important to recognize with any children’s picture book, these books also reveal whose voices, stories, and experiences shape COVID-19 narratives and whose are left out. 

This lecture will also be live-streamed.

If attending in-person, registration is requested.  Register HERE.

Click HERE to visit Cara Byrne's Faculty Page

Increasing COVID-19 cases within Northeast Ohio have prompted Case Western Reserve to resume its requirement that masks be worn indoors. In addition, only those who are fully vaccinated (two weeks past their final dose) should attend any campus event. Leaders continue to monitor pandemic developments and may need to adjust health protocols further as circumstances warrant. In-person is subject to change based on COVID-19 guidelines.