cover image A Pandemic Is Worldwide

A Pandemic Is Worldwide

Sarah L. Thomson, illus. by Taia Morley. HarperCollins, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-308626-5

This installment of the Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series explains pandemics, viruses, and vaccines in clear, patient terms. Opening by differentiating between outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics, and touching on past pandemics (including the bubonic plague and smallpox), Thomson then focuses on Covid-19: how it propagates, common symptoms, and how to stop the spread (“Simple choices like staying home as much as you can and wearing a mask when you go out can help slow the spread of a disease like COVID-19”). Helpful inset boxes offer etymology and additional context: “Corona means ‘crown.’ If you look at a coronavirus under a microscope, it looks a bit like it’s wearing a spiky crown.” Morley provides textural illustrations, rendered in watercolor and digitally, showing a cast of varying ages and skin tones. Though the treatment of Covid-19 as over strikes an odd note, this is a comprehensive, age-appropriate primer for curious, concerned young readers. Back matter features a glossary, a handwashing diagram, and a timeline of past pandemics. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)