Health and Medicine

School of Medicine instructor writes coloring book on COVID-19 for kids

The coloring book was created to help children cope with the many stresses and challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

A drawing of a school, park and store closed.
The coloring book's illustrations were drawn by Janeen Martin and Meg Martin.

Lindsey Atkins, a clinical instructor at the UNC Child and Adolescent Outpatient Program in the UNC School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, published a coloring book to help children cope with the many stresses and challenges stemming from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The book titled “Joey the Kangaroo and Her Coping with COVID Plan” is available for free and downloadable as a PDF.

“In the mid-’80s, following a series of tornados in Eastern North Carolina, our child and adolescent program created a series of coloring book stories on natural disasters as part of an outreach program to help affected communities process what they experienced,” Atkins said. “Three and a half decades later, the COVID-19 Pandemic has brought new challenges for children, and I was inspired to create a coloring book story to support children.

“I hope this book helps families talk openly together, reminds children of their abilities to cope with strong feelings, and encourages them to look for the helpers in their families, communities, and within themselves.”

Atkins wrote the following as an introduction to readers:

“Lately, there have been a lot of big changes and I know you have seen them too. You might even have some questions on your mind or big feelings about it all. This is a coloring book to get everyone talking together about those questions and feelings. And it was created just for you.

“In this story, you will meet Pete Parrot, Shelly Cat and Reesy Ram who like to talk, create art, and finish fun projects – all wonderful ways to feel better when things get hard. So here is a chance to do it, too.

“Get out your crayons, colored pencils, markers or leave the book as it is. There is no right or wrong way.

“And to the frontline and essential working parents and caretakers: thank you for your hard work, care, sacrifice, and dedication during this challenging time. You are deeply and truly appreciated. Now it’s time to meet Joey, along with her friends and family, to learn more about coping with COVID-19.”