The story-book, a sequel to the immensely successful 'My Hero is You: How kids can fight COVID-19!' published in April 2020, is being released in the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This book, "My Hero is You 2021: how kids can hope with COVID-19!" is developed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings, UNICEF reports.
The book vividly illustrates the influence of COVID-19 on the mental health and well-being of children via the words of the youngsters Ario encounters on his travels.
Ario, a fictional creature that travels the globe helping youngsters discover hope in the future and delight in simple pleasures, returns in the new narrative, which is primarily geared at children aged 6-11 years.
Ario discusses the worries, frustrations, and concerns that children have during this period of the pandemic, as well as the different coping mechanisms that they may adopt when faced with unpleasant emotions such as fear, grief, rage, and sadness, with the help of old and new friends.
The book's content was based on survey responses from over 5000 children, parents, caregivers, and teachers from all around the world on the problems they are now facing in the second year of the pandemic.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Director-General of the World Health Organization said, "As we collectively weather the COVID-19 crisis and find our own ways to cope, we must strive to safeguard the mental health and well-being of children who continue to grapple with disrupted childhoods. The 'My Hero is You' storybooks help us to do just that."
"I encourage parents, teachers and caregivers everywhere to share the sequel to the immensely popular original to help the children in their care build resilience and hang on to a sense of hope for the future," he added.
The book is currently available in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swahili languages.
Its predecessor is now available in over 140 languages, including sign language and Braille, and in over 50 versions, including animated video, read-aloud, theatre, activity books, and audio formats.
The new storybook can be used by parents and teachers in conjunction with a guide entitled 'Actions for Heroes', released by the same group in February 2021, reports WHO.
Since April 2020, governments, colleges, non-governmental organizations, media outlets, and celebrities have partnered with the United Nations to ensure that the first book in the series is distributed worldwide.
Initiatives include the distribution of audio versions and book-related workshops to refugees in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh; the airing of an animated version on Mongolian state television; and the publication of the book as a free supplement with a national newspaper in Greece.
To read the Bangla version, visit https://interagencystandingcommittee.org/system/files/2021-09/My%20Hero%...