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COVID-19 Pandemic Children's Book Collection

Headshot of Ashley Hosbach smiling. Photograph.

Ashley Hosbach


Ashley is the Project Lead and University of Virginia’s Education & Social Science Research Librarian. Ashley specializes in children’s literature and is currently researching the COVID-19 pandemic and social emotional learning represented in picture books.


Headshot of Mary Lihong Peng smiling with a floral background behind her. Photograph.

Mary Lihong Peng

Mary served as the project's Social Emotional Learning Cataloger and Digital Support. She graduated from UVA in May 2021. She is currently an MPH Candidate at the Yale School of Public Health, with a focus on Digital Health, Psychosocial Epidemiology & Public Health Modeling.

Return to School

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools across the globe closed and pivoted to emergency online teaching. As the pandemic dragged on and vaccines became more widely available, schools began to reopen. Some families chose to return to in-person learning, others pursued hybrid options, and some chose to stick with online learning or homeschool their children. The return to school was met with a combination of fear and anticipation due to new variants and regulations. Now three years into the pandemic, as new variants continue to emerge and COVID cases climb, schools wrestle with public health guidelines and pressure from the government on how they should operate. The books in this section aim to ease worries, address anxiety, and encourage following public health safety measures with the return to school. For many children and families, this is an incredibly stressful time. The books in this section aim to serve as resources for counselors, educators, caregivers, social workers, and librarians. We are in the process of mapping these titles to the CASEL Framework for applying evidence-based SEL strategies.