Francesca Cavallo, best known for her best-selling children’s book, Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, has written and released a new, free e-book for children, Dr Li and the Crown-Wearing Virus. The short, 11-page book explains how Wuhan ophthalmologist Dr Li Wenliang first noticed how many of his patients suffered from the severe flu-like symptoms that didn’t resemble any known disease. When Dr Li tried to inform other physicians about the new virus, he was told to stop spreading “rumors”. He ultimately died from the virus himself a month later.
While Dr Li is the subject of the title, only half the book tells his story. The other half discusses the West’s slow response to the virus and why it’s important to find vaccines and pay attention to scientists. Cavallo gives tips for staying safe through hand washing, disinfecting, social distancing and staying at home. The book explains at a primary school level why students have to stay home and why scientists still don’t know how the virus originated or what it will take to make it go away.