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Book Reviews Children

Ben and the Bug

Ben and the Bug is the second book in the Split Perspectivz series by Natalie Reeves-Billing with illustrations by Lisa Williams. This story artfully describes the circumstances of COVID-19 to young children without fudging the facts. The aim is to alleviate fear and anxiety in families in the run-up to the return to school. By giving the virus a personality, in the primary character, Bug, we put a friendly face in a child’s mind, while still clearly addressing basic hygiene techniques.

There have been many approaches promoted on social media to explain the current situation and how best to protect our health. Facts about hand washing, social distancing, and who is most at risk.

This book combines bright, friendly, and informative visuals with clear and lyrical verse that demonstrates a daunting and abstract concept for children to consume in a short reading session. A beautiful simple story that doesn’t shy away from real-life consequences, minus the fear, and backed up with a page of hopeful and comforting explanations accessible to children. The tone is honest and focused. The intention is to arm parents and guardians against some of the most challenging and complex questions from our young children.

On each page, we see a fact box alongside fun rhyming prose, documenting the friendship between a boy and a bug. There is a little germ to find and zap on each page, which helps keep children on the page. The aim of Ben and the Bug is to entertain and inform, but not overwhelm. The information is presented in such a way that parents won’t need to interpret or translate: a precise, yet fun essential read. Activities and resources are available as a free download from the website. Discounts available for schools, community centres, and other bulk purchases.
 
Published by Lollipop Lodge via Amazon and Lollipop Lodge store, and is available to purchase now. Check back with http://www.lollipoplodge.net for further details of the upcoming series.

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