This free e-book helps explain the coronavirus pandemic to children

Art Jameel has collaborated with Italian science association Pleiadi to bring a bilingual Covid-19 guide to the region

Bursting with colour and creative illustrations, the Corona Virus: A curious guide for courageous kids ebook helps parents and children discuss the global pandemic in an accessible and relatable way.

As news of the coronavirus outbreak continues to overwhelm the public with stories of tragic deaths and economic woes, parents may face concerns over how to explain such a crisis to their children. On top of this, school closures and social distancing measures are disrupting family routines and increasing anxiety worldwide. In the UAE, for example, the Ministry of Education announced on Monday that schools and universities will continue distance learning until the end of the academic year.

Written by scientists and illustrated by artists, the bilingual e-book (Arabic and English) hopes to help children understand the pandemic using a friendly approach. The guide is the result of a collaboration between Art Jameel and Italian science association Pleiadi, and is available for free on the Jameel Arts Centre website.

The ebook traces the story of the coronavirus, from its beginnings in Wuhan, China, where Doctor Li Wenliang discovered it, to the size of the virus and the speed of its spread around the world. It also highlights the importance of prevention and outlines six simple steps to keep infection away. The guide reassuringly tells readers that "scientists are working to get us back to normal" and encourages children to get creative in the meantime.

According to Art Jameel, the ebook serves as "an essential tool that enables parents, guardians and teachers to communicate calmly and effectively the measures taken in cities around the world".

The book project was started in Italy by Pleiadi, an association of scientists that creates exhibitions, workshops, educational events and festivals worldwide as a way to promote curiosity about the sciences in children. The guide is now being translated into 30 languages and will soon reach 50 countries.

On its website, Jameel Arts Centre announced that it will also release a story-time version of the book with audio in Arabic and English.

The ebook is one of a series of digital resources that the art institution plans to share online after the coronavirus outbreak compelled museums and galleries to close their doors. Jameel Arts Centre has since increased its efforts to reach audiences online through digital initiatives.

To download the book and see Jameel Arts Centre's other digital resources, visit jameelartscentre.org