Charleigh McIntosh reads Posie and the Pandemic by Tami Quinn. (Celyne Hahn)

Charleigh McIntosh reads Posie and the Pandemic by Tami Quinn. (Celyne Hahn)

New book by Fraser Valley author features gentler way to talk to kids about pandemic

Author went to her bosses about book idea for Posie and the Pandemic - and they ran with it

A new children’s book grew out of the author’s desire to talk to children about the global pandemic in a gentle way that answers their fears and concerns.

Tami Quinn is a daycare supervisor for a local Indigenous agency who also writes children’s stories.

Many parents were fretting about how best to explain what was going on to their kids.

The idea for Posie and the Pandemic was born.

Quinn went to her bosses at Stólō Service Agency with the idea, and they loved it – and ran with it.

Posie and the Pandemic was written by Tami Quinn (Stólō) and illustrated by artist Karlene Harvey (Tsilhqot’in and Syilx).

“I think it came out of a desire to have something child-friendly to clearly explain things, about what is happening and how to stay safe,” said Quinn, manager of the child/infant development teams, and Family Place teams for Stólō Health. She lives and works in Mission.

“I’ve worked with children for 30 years. I love them. This is really important.”

Tami Quinn wrote the children’s book ‘Posie and the Pandemic’ as a resource to help parents explain things to their kids. (Tami Quinn)

Tami Quinn wrote the children’s book ‘Posie and the Pandemic’ as a resource to help parents explain things to their kids. (Tami Quinn)

Copies of Posie and the Pandemic have been handed out across Stólō territory and the Fraser Valley to children, child care workers, Stólō communities, schools, and families, all free of charge.

“Since the first printing there have been so many requests that an additional 500 had to be printed.

“Almost 1,000 books have been given out.”

And parents and care givers are finding it very helpful. Kids are following along with Posie the protagonist as she brings a school notice home about the virus, explaining the hand-washing, and distancing in a way a kid can understand.

It was important to do it all in a culturally appropriate way.

It includes some words of wisdom from a respected elder. By the end of the book, Posie feels safer. All her troubling questions answered and some new protective measures learned.

Agencies and organizations have also told Quinn how much they appreciate having this resource and have been sharing it with their own families as well as utilizing it in their programs. When families are struggling across the territory, this resource might help.

If it can help address some of the mental health challenges faced by youth right now, all the better, Quinn figures.

“The message of the book is most importantly that they don’t have to be afraid,” Quinn said.

READ MORE: Is pandemic increasing anxiety and depression in kids?

READ MORE: Exacerbated for children with special needs

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