Outside, inside by LeUyen Pham

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Lockdown and the effect it had on everyone is the theme of this beautifully illustrated first-person narrative, written and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. Using a small black cat to guide us on every page, the book depicts the global impact of the Corona virus pandemic (without ever mentioning the disease) in 2020.The story and detailed, colourful illustrations capture the variety of things people did in their homes during the lockdowns. It shows what happened inside – baking, working from home, watching TV, using screens to talk to loved ones and doing our schoolwork, making things and exercising indoors.

The world outside is also included showing that nature continued as usual but the only people who went outside were the workers who kept hospitals and other vital services operating. The sentiments throughout this book are touching, hopeful and uplifting. They explain that although we are all different on the outside, we are the same on the inside and that we went into lockdown because it was the "right thing to do". I think the author has encapsulated our experiences of this pandemic brilliantly and the book would be a great addition to every school library.

Themes: Epidemics, Quarantine, Resilience.

Gabrielle Anderson