A Kids Book About Covid-19, by Malia Jones
I was sent this book by my CASA supervisor, who saw the topicality of the material and thought that it would be worth sharing with one’s CASA kiddos if they expressed concern or interest in the subject matter. If this book is representative of the approach of the series as a whole then this is not the sort of book that I would enjoy reading or that I would feel comfortable in recommending to others to read. By and large this book offers what would be unsurprising, namely a leftist perspective of a hot-button issue that urges people to simply listen to the opinion and follow the advice of self-appointed experts. The author adopts the point of view of someone who feels that they know best and want the reader to accept that they know best, and the sort of paternalistic attitude that the author takes to the reader is all the more galling when one realizes just how little is known about the disease, and thus how little expertise the author and others of her ilk have to behave. It is equivalent to someone who has read one chapter further in a book lording it over his supposed inferiors, and it simply is not a good approach.
If we contrast this book with those books that were written by children, there are a great many ways in which this book falls short. Aside from the lack of humility that the author shows in not extrapolating the right conclusions from the lack of knowledge that she or anyone else has about the disease, and her paternalistic nonsense in assuming that government knows best, this book can most be faulted for its attitude in condescendingly talking down to the reader. While children write books for themselves based on wanting to write what they would wish to read, books like this one are full of virtue signalling and poor attempts at humor as well as the use of terms that are simply not going to be of interest and may only frighten children. Perhaps that is a part of its intent. It is unclear what level of detail would be necessary in talking to children about the disease–children would likely be fascinated by either the way that one can get diseases from eating creatures like bats or that the disease may have been a biological weapon that rebounded spectacularly against its creators. Such an approach would be light years beyond this book’s material, though.