Children's book about a scared cat helps kids cope during COVID-19
TORONTO -- It's a book about courage, written to help children cope with their emotions during COVID-19.
'The book is about 'Cat' and Cat wants to climb a tree, so she does," explains Carolyn Neary, author of "Cat is Scared."
"But once she gets into the tree, she realizes that she is scared. She's feeling lonely and confused."
Neary was inspired to write the story early on in the pandemic. Her daughter is a respiratory therapist at an Alberta hospital, and she knew how she was being affected.
"When COVID first got started I absolutely could see the stress that was on the frontline workers," she told CTV News Toronto. "Many of them said, 'If you help our children, you’re helping us.'"
Neary started drafting the children's book from her home in Calgary, and called upon her niece in Toronto to help with some drawings.
"I got an email from my Auntie Carolyn, and she just requested that I illustrate this book," Kyla Neary says. "I agreed, and I had 10 days to do it. I pretty much worked from sunrise to sundown.'
"Kyla put together such beautiful pictures in this book that every child can relate with in some way," Carolyn says. "It just draws people in to that place of being able to dream with the story."
The aunt-niece duo started selling and distributing the book. Proceeds from "Cat is Scared" have been going to support Ronald McDonald House in Alberta.
Carolyn’s goal has always been to "gift" copies of "Cat is Scared' to frontline families, like her daughter's.
"This is just really a way for us to say thank you," she explains.
"They're the people who are putting their lives on the line and working the long hours," adds Kyla. "I'm incredibly grateful, and if I can make their kids’ bedtime easier, I was just so honoured to do that."
As for Cat in this tale, Neary says she is able to navigate her difficult situation with family, friends and a little bit of courage.
"All of a sudden she gets some hope. And realizes, if she just backs down that tree, one step at a time, she'll make it."
"Cat is Sad" is available in English, French and Spanish, and can be found here.