Cary, NC – July 3, 2020 – After their schools were shut down, it was a conversation around the dinner table which inspired siblings Elikya R. Matsouaka, 12, and Greg-Daniel Matsouaka, 16, to author their latest book. The conversation that night turned to how younger children must be bewildered by all the new rules and shutdowns around their community and motivated the young authors to write KING COVID XIX, The Invisible Monster.
“Last week the playground was open and filled with friends and fun, and now it has yellow tape around it and no one is allowed to go to the park. School is important and our parents always makes us go to school, but now we’re not at school, we’re staying home all day. We love to read. Libraries are full of great stories that we can read; we are no longer allowed to go inside. These are all things that we understood as older children, but to a kid who is 5 or 6 years old, all these new rules must be really scary. We wanted to make sure the kids weren’t scared,” explains Elikya Matsouaka. “That’s why my older brother and I wrote the book.”
The children’s book is an easy to understand, storybook-style narrative about COVID-19, imagined as the terrible KING COVID XIX. The book details how KING COVID has tried to attack various places that children are familiar with including schools, playgrounds and more. The lockdown and the resulting new rules in place are bewildering to younger children who don’t understand what is happening. Explained through the engaging and entertaining characters in the book, children come to see that these new rules are meant to protect them and keep them and their family’s safe.
The book, which includes characters from all races, allowing kids to be able to identify with the book they read and characters they see, strikes a lighthearted tone. It is full of tips and encouragement to get children to wash their hands, eat healthy foods, and to be patient with school and playground closures. The easy to read book, geared towards children under 10, ends on a positive note and provides hope that the pandemic will soon be over thanks to everyone’s collective efforts.
“We wanted kids to understand what is going on and to take things seriously when mom or dad asks them to wash their hands or to cover their cough. At the same time, we didn’t want kids to be so worried and so scared that the book made things scarier for them. I wanted it to sound like a story I would tell one of my younger cousins; something that would entertain them and keep them positive about the future. I’m really proud of the book we’ve written and I’m proud to help little kids to not be afraid.”
KING COVID XIX was launched on June 10, 2020 and has already received numerous five-star ratings. The book is available on BarnesandNoble.com in paperback or for Nook.