MONTCLAIR, N.J. - Author Sherry Lottero and illustrator Tori Schoen have recently published their first book: Why Can't I Play With My Friends? A Pandemic Playbook for Kids, which is available online.
"I honestly did not write it to make money and become a famous author," Lottero said. "I wrote it to help the children of the world navigate the pandemic landscape."
The book is about a little boy whose life has changed with the coronavirus pandemic and he's not really sure what's going on.
"I was thinking about how my life changed and then I began to wonder what are children actually thinking about what is happening?" Lottero said. "They can't see their friends, they don't see their relatives."
The book helps children make sense of this pandemic. Lottero said it is not a fictional story but an informative one filled with facts.
The 28-page long book is for kids ages 3 to 8.
Schoen is a recent college graduate who happens to be Lottero's former student. She said the book is filled with colorful pictures.
"When we first started the illustration process, we wanted the images to stand alone for a kid who maybe was struggling with reading," Schoen said.
Schoen, a graduate of Lafayette College, said she can relate to the book because her senior year did not go as planned due the pandemic.
"I'm really glad that I was able to illustrate something that can bring a little bit of comfort," she said.
You can buy a copy of Why Can't I Play With My Friends? at whycantiplaywithmyfriends.com/store. It will be available soon in Barnes and Noble bookstores. All profits from book sales will be donated to Feed My Children's Fund.