This week my husband and I broke out a family photobook from five years ago. Our baby recently turned three, so isn’t included in the album, but our five and seven-year-olds are so tiny! It instantly took us down memory lane. We thought about all those feelings we were going through at the time.
What the heck does that have to do with this When We Stayed Home book? Stay with me, haha. First, I’ll tell you about the book and what we thought about it and I’ll circle back to memory lane.
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When We Stayed Home Book Overview
Book Publicity Services recently sent us a copy of When We Stayed Home to check out. It’s available through Huqua Press here on Amazon, or check your favorite local bookstore.
Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:
With whimsical illustrations and relatable prose, When We Stayed Home helps young children navigate all of their great big feelings and cheer themselves on during the upheaval of pandemic, honoring their role as the “super-helpers” they are by washing their hands, wearing masks, social distancing and staying home. Along with the family dog as his trusty sidekick, When We Stayed Home’s super-helper builds virus-free forts, decorates silly toilet paper-shaped cookies, enjoys screen visits and dance parties with family and friends, and relies on his resourceful creativity and imagination to weather the virus storm.
Children ages 3-8 will recognize their own experiences and emotions as they see our super-helper paint endless pictures and draw chalk art, read books and do puzzles, wave hello to masked neighbors, play under a bluer-than-usual sky, and feel all the feelings as they miss school, playgrounds, and friends and family staying at home in their own houses. Inspired by co-author Proffer’s resilient five year-old nephew, who continued to find moments of comfort and mirth in home, nature, adventures and activities even while longing for the virus to go far, far away. Co-writer Licensed Family and Marriage Therapist Fass worked with families during the pandemic to maneuver its bumpy road with tools, optimism and hope.
What We Loved:
The message. My five-year-old is in a huge superhero phase. Being able to see himself in this little boy as a super-helper was very cool. I have three kids in very different reading stages right now. My 7-year-old is a very advanced independent reader. My 5-year-old is an emerging reader and my toddler still likes to destroy board books. This is one of those books that meets kids on all of those levels. The message is both simplified for younger kids and profound enough to keep older kids engaged.
They liked seeing some of the same things they’ve been doing the past several months. We’ve been baking, creating, reading, and a lot of Facetime with friends and family. They agreed that wearing a mask is hot and itchy but the complaints are definitely getting better. 🙂
We love the illustrations by Yoko Matsuoka. The little dog companion is so cute. We can see all the fun things the boy gets to do at home using his imagination. My kids especially loved the chalk drawings and the food creations. We are doing many of these same activities and it was neat to see that mirrored in the book’s pages.
Relating To The Book
For some, things have gotten back into more of a routine. For us, my husband worked from home for about three months but headed back into his small office setting in June. So while things aren’t back to normal, parts of our lives have gotten slightly more normal.
We chose to do virtual school for kindergarten and second grade this year. While I love our little community school and the teachers and staff there, this was a decision I knew would lighten their loads and something we knew we were lucky enough to be able to choose.
We continue to check in with our feelings because this is an ongoing transition for our kids. Sometimes I feel like we’re one of the only families in the world who isn’t playing sports and doing all the things right now. While it is frustrating sometimes, we’re also trying to keep everything in perspective. We’ve become avid hikers around our area, exploring fun trails and bike paths and forests. This book helped us continue those conversations about why we’re staying close to home and how we’re not alone.
When We Stayed Home BookAs a Keepsake
This When We Stayed Home book not only has an important message for kids now, because I know there are a lot of us who are still living a very cautious lifestyle, but I also feel like it will be cool to break out in a few years and “remember when” we all stayed home. See how I circled back to memory lane? I feel like this is a great book to keep as a keepsake from this “unique” time in our lives.
Are you all reading more as a family this year? We definitely are. I’ve also have a super successful reading year! You can check out some of my favorites so far in these August reviews.