The creators of the children’s book The Gruffalo drew their characters using social distance to help children understand the rules.
Author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler created the panels as a “light” way of spreading the message.
They present The Gruffalo, Stickman and The Smeds and The Smoos – all keeping a safe distance from each other.
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The Gruffalo was first published in 1999, and tells the story of a mouse wandering through the woods – where it foils a terrifying creature with terrible teeth and a “positional wart at the tip of its nose”.
It sold 13 million copies and was turned into a play and Oscar-nominated animation.
One of the new sketches shows the Gruffalo walking behind the mouse, accompanied by the couplet:
“All right, said The Gruffalo, bursting out laughing / Go ahead, I’ll follow two yards later.”
“Axel had this idea of making witty sketches, each based on one of our books and each type of incorporation of a coronavirus tip,” Donaldson told BBC Breakfast on Friday.
Scheffler began the process by saying to himself: “What can I do as an illustrator?” in these troubled times.
“I am currently working on a free non-fiction coronavirus digital book, which is serious and informative and probably more important than that and will be released next week,” he said.
“[But] I wanted to do something light and cheer up people and I thought to myself, “What if I imagined our characters in corona situations?” “
“It is really more entertainment than serious information,” he added.
In addition to social estrangement, the characters emphasize the importance of exercising and making video calls to family members.
Donaldson hopes the images will highlight best practices and help with home schooling, without being seen as “preaching”.
During the lockdown, the author also produces a weekly program on The Gruffalo’s Facebook page, reading stories, poems and songs.
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