Scholastic has announced the acquisition of Matt Carr's Now Wash Your Hands! while Nosy Crow has published a free information book explaining coronavirus to children, illustrated by Axel Scheffler.
Now Wash Your Hands! will offer a "reassuring" message for children and reinforce the importance of keeping your hands clean. Scholastic spotted Carr's artwork of Doris the Doctorpus on social media and helped turn her into the star of a new picture book.
World rights for the book were acquired by Elizabeth Scoggins, publisher for non-fiction, brands and licensing, from Stephanie Thwaites at Curtis Brown. The book will be published in July. Scholastic and Carr will donate a percentage of the profits made to the NHS.
Carr said: "I’m very excited that Scholastic have given Doris her own book, and my first rhyming book as well! Hopefully she will help lots of kids learn about the importance of washing their hands—and encourage people to support the hard work of the NHS."
Scoggins said: "Given the current difficult times, we were determined to publish this book as quickly as possible to ensure that Doris can start sharing her important message—and hand-washing song!—with a wide audience."
Nosy Crow has announced a free digital book for primary-age children, illustrated by Axel Scheffler (illustrator of The Gruffalo) and written by staff at Nosy Crow.
Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine also acted as a consultant, and Nosy Crow also had advice from two head teachers and a child psychologist.
The book aims to answer key questions about the virus for five to nine-year-olds.
The publisher is asking readers to make a donation the the NHS if they find the book useful.
Kate Wilson, managing director of Nosy Crow, said: "We were very aware that many parents and carers are struggling to explain the current extraordinary situation to children, many of whom are frightened and confused. We thought that the best thing we could do would be to use our skills to produce a free book to explain and, where possible, reassure children. We asked Axel, whose work is so familiar and so loved, to illustrate it. He was happy to do it, and did it extraordinarily quickly."
Scheffler added: "I think it is extremely important for children and families to have access to good and reliable information in this unprecedented crisis, and I hope that the popularity of the books I've done with Julia Donaldson will ensure that this digital book will reach many children who are now slightly older, but might still remember our picture books.”