Friday, April 12, 2024

Children’s Books by Local Authors That Your Kids Need During the Pandemic

I’ve never really been the mom who’s at a loss for words…until 2020. This year has thrown some whoppers our way, which means my daughter has been asking all sorts of questions. “Why do I have to stay away from my friends? And not hug my grandparents? How come I have to wear a mask at school? What about the beach? Or the park?” It goes on and on…

When you just can’t find the right words (or energy) to explain the current state of the world to your offspring…there’s a book for that! Two moms from Boca Raton have taken on the task of explaining some of these pandemic-related topics in easy, relatable ways via children’s books. I couldn’t be more grateful for a visual aid these days.

Remember to Smile by Shannon McDonald

Remember to Smile, by Boca mom turned author Shannon McDonald, is a colorful children’s picture book intended for kids ages 2-6 years old which highlights the silliness and fun we can still have while wearing our face masks. The pictures will make kids giggle and hopefully help them feel more comfortable with the idea of not only seeing, but also wearing masks as we deal with the many changes brought on by COVID-19.     

There’s even a charitable component, with the project supporting the COVID-19 Relief Fund for Teachers and Students through non-profit organization This fund donates masks, cleaning supplies, and remote learning technology equipment (among other items) to schools and students who need them the most. That’s certainly something to smile about!

Billie and the Brilliant Bubble by Tara Travieso

Billie and the Brilliant Bubble, written by Boca High alumni turned North Florida mom Tara Travieso, aims to simplify the concept of social distancing while also helping families teach their children ages 4-10 about its importance. “As a mom, I found it essential to talk with my children about the dramatic change in our lives due to COVID-19. I needed to help them understand our new normal. So, I used an imaginary bubble to help them visualize safe space. We used the bubble concept for weeks with our family and friends before I had the idea for my book,” said Travieso.

The “bubble” concept of social distancing is simple for children to understand. Plus, it’s a fun and colorfully-illustrated book that kids enjoy reading while also learning about health and safety. Most importantly, the book presents social distancing in a fun, positive way, not as something scary. Travieso explained, “We don’t need to overwhelm or create anxiety for our children right now. However, we do need to encourage a little more safe space than what they are likely used to.”

Both books are available for purchase on

Michelle Olson-Rogers is a mom of one and the founder of Modern Boca Mom, a lifestyle website for the stylish & modern South Florida Mommy. She can also be found on Instagram at @modernbocamom.

Michelle Olson-Rogers
Michelle Olson-Rogers
Michelle Olson-Rogers, a native to Boca, is the founder of, a lifestyle website for the stylish & modern South Florida Mommy. Modern Boca Mom features family events, activities, classes, fitness, dining, travel, home improvement and shopping options—as well as a weekly MOMpreneur spotlight! She and her husband Andrew have one daughter, Avery.

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