child wearing medical mask

16 Informative Children's Books About Pandemics And Epidemics

Heroes Wear Masks 

Heroes Wear Masks: Elmo's Super Adventure

There is no better, friendlier furry friend to help ease anxiety around all the new rules than Elmo! He walks little readers all through the importance of wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing, and all the other things we have to do during a pandemic. School may seem a little different at first, but Elmo does a fantastic job of showing us that a few little changes won't take away from all the fun and learning that still happens at school.


global pandemic


Best Kids' Books Covering Pandemics

Children today have lived through a global pandemic and will always remember what life was like when everything came to a grinding halt. Schools were closed, social activities ceased, sports were canceled, and life as they knew it was put on temporary hold. Reading children's books about pandemics and epidemics will shed light on other historical catastrophes, how medical science has improved as a result, and what can be done to prevent disease from spreading in the future.


Fever 1793

Fever 1793

Appropriate for the 12+ crowd, this chapter book is told through the eyes of a fourteen year old girl in Philadelphia. She has lost her best friend to the fever and works alongside her family to keep their coffeehouse business afloat.



 Plague And Pandemic Alert!

Plague and Pandemic Alert

An informative, non-fiction book for the 7+ age group covers the history of disease outbreak back to ancient times. It covers the role of epidemiologists in studying the spread and containment of viruses. The book addresses a wide variety of diseases and their  sobering consequences. 


 The Germ Lab

The Germ Lab

The Germ Lab is a brand new release (yes, it covers Covid-19)  for kids who are 7 -12 years of age. It's intent is to educate children about disease in a humorous way told through the eyes of rats, flies, ticks and other creepy carriers. Chock full of facts and historical events involving pandemics all over the world, scientific-minded children will devour the information that is presented through cartoon illustrations.



 The Polio Pioneer: Dr. Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine

The Polio Pioneer

A picture book for kids ages 4-8 highlights one of the most important physicians of the 20th century- Dr. Jonas Salk. He worked tirelessly with a team to successfully develop the influenza vaccine. He then most famously made his mark by inventing the vaccine to eradicate polio in 1952. His groundbreaking work in the medical field has saved millions of lives and he leaves behind a legacy that continues to inspire medical professionals from around the world.


 Bubonic Panic: When Plague Invaded America

Bubonic Panic

For the 10-17 age group, this fascinating book explores the very first plague to spread through America. A New York Library Best Book for Teens and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, this nonfiction, gruesome detailing of Black Death is a riveting read from start to finish. Politics and science collide as readers visit a time when fear, mistrust and prejudice stood in the way of the truth.


 Outbreak! Plagues That Changed History 

Outbreak: Plagues that Changed History

Fifty pages of fascinating and thought-provoking material for the 11-14 age group. This book expertly blends history with science by demonstrating the ways disease outbreak has marked the end of one era while paving the way for new beginnings. Influenza, small pox, tuberculosis, yellow fever, and other remarkable pandemics are covered in gory detail. Striking connections are made between each of these pandemics and changes in history.



 Very, Very, Very Dreadful: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918

Very, Very, Very Dreadful: Influenza Pandemic of 1918

For the 12-17 age group, this book explores the deadly flu outbreak of 1918. During World War I, this devastating disease jumped from continent to continent, killing more soldiers than the actual war. Filled with facts and pictures, this is detailed account of a devastating pandemic that claimed somewhere between 50-100 million lives. The author examines history and science while also offering the idea that future pandemics are highly likely to occur.


 Goldie Locks Has Chicken Pox

Goldi Locks Has Chicken Pox

For the kiddos in the 3-6 age group, the severity of Covid-19 and the havoc it is wreaking on the world is really incomprehensible. Yet, these children are most definitely hearing about the virus and witnessing the disruption it is having on the lives of their families. Reading a children's book about another, more relatable virus may be a good way to open a conversation. Just like the chicken-pox, eventually there will be a vaccine for this new virus. Join Goldie Locks and friends as she battles this spotty disease.



 From My Window: Children at Home During COVID 19

From My Window: Children at Home During Covid-19

A unifying children's book about Covid 19 about experiences of children all around the world who are stuck at home. Kids often feel isolated during prolonged periods of social distancing. The illustrations convey very clearly that we are all in this together no matter how disconnected we feel. A reassuring book that will help to ease the anxiety of little ones during this period of uncertainty.

What Is Covid-19?

What is Covid-19?

For inquisitive children who have an interest in learning about the medical science as it relates to Covid-19. This hardcover volume covers all the coronavirus basics, from symptoms, contagious spread, and treatment. 


Dragon’s Mask

Dragon's Mask

Wearing masks is pretty challenging for young children. They may not fully comprehend the dangers of Covid-19 or other viruses that could cause widespread illness. This gentle book is about a little boy who needs to teach his pet dragon to properly wear a mask and take other precautions not to spread germs. It's an accessible picture book for young readers who will (hopefully) apply what they learn to their own actions!


 What Is the Coronavirus Disease COVID-19?

What is the Coronavirus Disease Covid-19?

Part of the New York Times best-selling "What is?" series, this short chapter book provides an easy-to-follow overview of the Covid-19 pandemic. Readers will learn about where the virus was originally detected and its rapid-fire spread around the world in a short period of time. The book covers the struggles people faced in diagnosing, treating, and surviving this deadly pandemic. It also takes a close look at the isolation, social distancing, and other attempts at containing the spread. 


 Outside, Inside

Outside, Inside

The Covid-19 virus changed the world almost overnight. Despite all of the tragic circumstances surrounding the pandemic, there were many reasons to sit back and think about all of the good that came as a result. This award-winning picture book takes a profound look at the positive human behavior and connections that developed during this time. When the rest of society retreated indoors to protect themselves from the virus, frontline and essential workers continued to perform their duties. Families and communities joined together during a time of both mourning and reflection on what matter most in life.


Alone Together on Dan Street 

Alone Together on Dan Street

 A heartwarming story about a girl bringing together her community during the Covid pandemic. Living in an apartment in Jerusalem, she heads outside to her balcony to practice the Four Questions. And then through the power of song, she draws the residents of her entire street out to their own balconies to celebrate Passover together, yet still safely apart. 


 A Pandemic Is Worldwide

A Pandemic is Worldwide

 This Level 2 reader about pandemics takes readers back in time. Kids will learn about all the various pandemics that have swept across the world, like the bubonic plague and smallpox. The book written in an easy-to-follow format, but includes plenty of extra reading with more in-depth material. Major milestones, like vaccines that eradicated pandemics of the past, are discussed. This excellent, non-fiction book about pandemics includes plenty of graphics and charts to supplement the text.

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covid 19 sign

Kids' Books About COVID-19

Our children are lived through a remarkable and devastating  event in time that their offspring will learn about in school. Kids who were fortunate enough to avoid Covid-19 infection may look back upon those months as a break from school, extracurricular activities, and perhaps even a time of togetherness when the whole family was home cooking together, playing games , and taking walks.

Nevertheless, today's children will always remember growing up during a moment in history that forever changed the world. Reading kids' books about Covid-19 and other pandemics will give them the facts and provide information to stay as healthy as possible when viruses are spreading like wildfire. 

Families had to navigate new terrain and figure out day-by-day how much information to share with their children about this crisis.  Undoubtedly, many kids received all kinds of messaging from the media through their own social feeds.  As parents, family, and friends, we have a responsibility to help shape their perception of this new reality.  How we respond to the stress, worry, and fear of the unknown will affect how our children will learn to cope. Reading children's books about pandemics can help open healthy conversations about this scary topic.


covid symbol


Why It's Important to Talk to Kids About Pandemics

Books for kids about pandemics and epidemics are full of important information. Adding some of these titles to your child's bookshelf is a smart thing to do for lots of reasons. Here are some of the reasons why your child should read these books about serious viruses:

  • They have lived through a modern-day pandemic caused by Covid-19, a virus that may be permanently part of our lives. Kids will always remember how their lives were upended by this strange and new illness that rapidly spread around the world. Reading books about other prior pandemics will have a whole new meaning now.
  • Children will learn about the development of vaccines that eradicated viruses that caused pandemics. They will also read about how medical experts united to develop treatments for new diseases. These stories may inspire your children to become doctors or researchers themselves one day.
  • Reading about all the pandemics that impacted the world is a lesson in history. Books based on the fever of 1793, the bubonic plague, or polio give kids insight into what life was like during the time of those pandemics. Children will develop an appreciation for modern day medicine and the rapid pace in which new treatments are developed. 

Books for Kids About Staying Healthy

Good Picture Books Featuring Doctors

Valuable Stories About Germs

Stories Emphasizing Healthy Eating

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