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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Mom is Hiding
by Qian Mo
Age Range: 6-8
Back when the pandemic was starting, if someone were to potentially be exposed to COVID-19, they would isolate themselves for days out of fear of getting infected with this relatively unknown virus. While self-isolation is now a fairly common practice, at the very beginning of the pandemic, it was uncharted territory. Within Cardinal Media’s series of books that show the pandemic through a child’s eyes called Hopefully Picture Books, the book Mom is Hiding tells the story of Nina’s mom who isolates herself because of potential COVID exposure at the grocery store.
Written by Chinese author Qian Mo and translated into English by Helen Wang, Mom is Hiding lets readers empathize with six-year-old Nina’s concern when her mother is “hiding” in her room. Zhou Yi’s illustrations complete the storytelling, such as on the page with an image of a maskless man sneezing right in front of Nina’s maskless mom at the grocery store next to the tomatoes, with the new headline right above saying “20 new cases confirmed at Super Foods Market.” With her stuffed rabbit, her dad over video chat, and her Aunt Mary, Nina starts to realize she is not alone during these confusing times.
Mom is Hiding is intended for social and emotional learning during our current world events, and it helps assure readers that, just like Nina, they are not alone, and the isolation of their loved ones can only be temporary.
Mom is Hiding is part of the Reading the World: Picture Books and Translation at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 2022.
Catherine Hurwitz (Apr22)