Pages: 32 pages
Size: Paperback, 8.5 X 6 inches
The author and illustrator of this bright, upbeat children’s book are clear: We can inspire our kids to wash their hands, and maintain other simple health measures, without demonizing germs, adding more fear and anxiety to their already over-stressed lives. Neither do we need to encourage them to wage “war” on microbes as if these are the enemy. Nor should we inspire shame and panic when any of us forget or don’t do it “right.”
Sure, our kids need to wash their hands! We all benefit from this, especially now when faced with a global pandemic. But there is an alternative to fear-based and germ-phobic approaches in presenting a simple rhyming “song” that kids can learn and sing for the length of their hand-washing procedure. This is a positive way to elicit fun, and a light-hearted relationship to health, while at the same time making the point clear.
The illustrator, Jacques Laliberté has presented us with an imaginary friend who guides the child through the steps in a playful, lyrical and comforting way. Many children love imaginary creatures and will easily relate to this “Big-Bird”-type cohort.
The author, Elyse April, an early childhood educator, is the director of the Family and World Health series of Kalindi Press/Hohm Press. She has for years been committed to children’s health and well-being in her other books (We Like to Move, We Like to Eat Well, Stand Up, the Courage to Care) and in her advocacy for the health benefits of breastfeeding. The book is available in both English only and bilingual versions and is written in simple language which encourages parent education as well as principles of healthy childcare.