From the Windowpane: A Book About the Pandemic
by Dr. Ida Acuña-Garza
PageTurner Press and Media

"I wish I was that tree, so tall and safe and free.
No mask, no standing far away – just waving in the wind."

This book tells a moving story in Spanish and English of a child who goes through the shock of everything changing one day when suddenly people had to stay at home, "Together and alone / Afraid of the unknown." The child relates, "We learned new words like Quarantine and Corona Virus and Covid / We knew their meanings." Learning new protocols such as how to wash one's hands, stand six feet apart, and wear a mask, the child looks out the window and wishes to be a tree that seems so free.

The design of the book pops, as do the accompanying illustrations, while the text leads readers poignantly through a journey. One panel that drives the feeling home most effectively depicts the bubble around a house, shows the mask around the Statue of Liberty, and portrays the spiked corona cell the size of a planet in the cosmos, indicating the precarious vulnerability of being suspended in the unknown in a catastrophe that encroaches upon people's daily lives.

The child relates that people stopped going places, stopped visiting, and covered their faces. As the author so poetically states, "And our homes became schools. / And our homes became a place to work / And learning how to learn and work at home / At times made us feel alone and hurt." Although the book ends on an upbeat tone of gathering on the streets again, it could also be a useful tool in exploring unexpressed trauma with children currently struggling with the experiences they have just submerged, especially when discussing the frustrations of internet schooling.

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