Fort Worth woman publishes COVID book for children
One of the worst parts of the COVID-19 quarantine is being separated from the grandchildren. Adult children understand. Not the grandchildren.
The relationship with grandchildren is special. Some say it’s because they have a common enemy.
My youngest is cute as a button with her little mask on, but she doesn’t really know why I hesitate to pick her up when she runs over to me.
Kathryn Rosenthal knows the feeling.
Mimi reads photo courtesy to grandchildren
Her two older grandchildren, Violet and Roman Rosenthal, who are 4 and 7 years old, live in Austin. They planned to come to Fort Worth in March to spend the spring break with her and her husband Jim, who has three children.
“But the trip was canceled because of the virus,” she says. “They didn’t really understand why they couldn’t come.”
With a week off, she decided to write a children’s book that adults could use to explain the pandemic to children.
“I thought that if my grandchildren didn’t understand, there were probably many other children who didn’t understand either,” said Rosenthal.
The result is COVID The Bad Germ, written under the name Kathryn Roman, her maiden name.
She is a former ISD art teacher in Fort Worth. She wrote the text and did the watercolor illustrations. Her daughter Emily Allen edited and designed the book.
“I consulted with numerous doctors, nurses, parents and teachers to ensure that the message is age-appropriate and correct,” said Rosenthal.
It’s a first book.
The idea was to explain COVID in age-appropriate language, highlight safety measures everyone should know, recognize frontline workers like doctors, nurses and teachers, encourage dialogue between parents and children, and give hope that COVID can be conquered.
All of that and much more.
There are wonderful inner family touches.
Look at the website: www.codybearbooks.com
Strange name – unless you are a Rosenthal.
Rosenthal was born in Evanston, Illinois and took the children to live with their parents in Northbrook, Illinois each summer.
A traditional treat was an annual summer pilgrimage to Wrigley Field for a Cubs game.
“My parents were big fans. My mother called them the ‘Cubbies’, ”she said. “You and Emily got a kick from the man who goes in the stands selling beer. ‘Cold Beer! Cold beer!’ It always sounded like ‘Cold-y Bear’, who eventually became Cody Bear, just to little Emily’s ears.
Emily and her grandmother Mary Steppe Roman were very close, said Rosenthal.
“Cody Bear was her secret word for anything that was cold. When it came time to choose a name for our book company, Emily chose Cody Bear Books, ”said Rosenthal.
She said the book was a family affair and the idea came about after the grandchildren’s trip was canceled due to quarantine during the spring break.
“It would never have seen the light of day without Emily. She graduated from the Moody College of Communication in UT and did an internship at Texas Monthly, which turned into a full-time position, ”she said.
Emily Allen later founded a startup called Luna Moons, an exclusive honeymoon travel club.
“She still has something to do, but also had time to deal with the bad germ. I am grateful that we had the opportunity to work on this project together, ”said Rosenthal.
There has been a rush for the book lately and additional prints are now being printed. It stays relevant as long as COVID hangs around.
“I got the help of a doctor to update the safety information so everything was correct. We have received many inquiries from schools, especially kindergarten and first grade teachers, as they believe the book will help them talk about the coronavirus when the kids return to the classroom, “she said.
Mayor Betsy Price read the book on Fort Worth’s social media site and it was featured on Good Morning Texas on WFAA TV-8.
“COVID The Bad Germ describes how a community can remove a very bad germ by working together for a common cause,” Price said.
Rosenthal is a graduate of Leadership Fort Worth and Leadership Texas.
COVID The evil germ
Story and drawings by Kathryn Roman
Designed and edited by Emily Allen
Cody Bear books
$ 14.95 plus $ 2.80 shipping