As a longtime teacher, Castaic resident Rogelio Lopez was quickly confronted with the impact struggling to understand COVID-19 had on his young students.
For Lopez, who emigrated from Mexico when he was just 9 years old, it’d been a career dream of his to write and publish his own book.
It took a pandemic to create the perfect opportunity, as Lopez discovered he wanted to help kids make sense of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To do just that, he wrote, illustrated, and published his first children’s book, “The Coronavirus Revealed.”
While Lopez himself had felt the impacts of the pandemic and what COVID-19 had taken from them, whether it be a graduation or simply an end-of-school-year celebration, he still believed there was a silver lining somewhere.
That silver lining finally revealed itself when Lopez woke up with the idea for his book.
“It just flowed,” he said. “In 40 minutes, I wrote the outline of the book.”
The book begins by describing the onset of the virus, going on to describe the fallout, along with the public health guidelines put in place to prevent its spread, such as handwashing and mask-wearing, as well as hopes for a brighter future — all wrapped up in a rhyming way that children can easily understand.
“This virus has taken a lot of things away from us … but don’t worry because we have superheroes amongst us,” Lopez said of the book’s message. “We have doctors and nurses and people who are coming up with vaccines … (so) when we work together, we defeat the coronavirus.”
Being artistic, Lopez then decided to illustrate the book himself, putting a lot of effort into giving each illustration a teaching opportunity, aside from the pandemic, such as a map of the world, China’s flag and some U.S. elected officials.
Once completed, Lopez was able to self-publish the book on Amazon, and has since translated the book into Spanish.
With the goal of helping young kids through the pandemic, Lopez now has distributed the book to his students and hopes to continue getting its message out there.
“The Coronavirus Revealed,” or its Spanish translation, can be found on Amazon at amazon.com/dp/B08T3Z11C3.