“Little Chum was very sad. He couldn’t understand why he couldn’t see his friends at nursery so he sat on the stairs and cried. ‘What is the coronavirus’, asked Little Chum, ‘and why is it so bad?'”
So goes the story of a new children’s book by staff and students at Northampton College, who have teamed up to explain the impact of coronavirus for youngsters attending their on-site nursery at Booth Lane.
“Little Chum” follows the story of a loveable character and his friend Chumbelina as they return to nursery after the holidays, having to get to grips with new guidelines around social distancing, ‘bubbles’ and hand washing.
With children expected back in nursery from September, and social distancing guidelines still in place, the book aims to explain the measures in simple terms and outline what the youngsters can do to stay safe and healthy.
“Little Chum” was written by Alexandra Hamblin-Pardon, from the college’s marketing team, and illustrated by student Ellie Lines, who has just completed her Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at the College.
Alex said: “We are always looking at ways of involving students with our work as it gives them vital ‘real-world’ experience and makes them feel a part of the college community. This was the perfect opportunity to make use of the talents of our art students and Ellie has done a fantastic job, nailing the brief and coming up with something the children in the nursery are going to love.
“Little Chum and Chumbelina illustrate the importance of regular handwashing, explain the reasons for social distancing guidelines and spell out in simple terms just what the ‘new normal’ will mean for youngsters in our nursery when they come back in September.
“We want them to understand that coming back to nursery might be a little different, but there is nothing to worry about. We are encouraging good behaviour and improved hygiene habits among the nursery children.”
The illustrated story will be shared digitally with all of the nursery school parents and the book will also feature on a ‘story time’ style video to be shared on the nursery’s private Facebook page. An audio version is also being produced.
The college is planning to use some of the illustrations on separate signage, floor stickers or other marketing materials around the Nursery itself.