Guelph artist writes children’s book about COVID-19

Barbara Matthews is a local Guelph-based artist and author. Photo courtesy of Barbara Matthews

This article was originally published on GuelphWire.

Local artist Barbara Salsberg Matthews has written a children’s book called Kid COVID Fights Back to help kids struggling to understand the COVID-19 pandemic.

The book focuses on a character called “Kid COVID,” and showcases examples of how to keep yourself safe through various techniques recommended by public health.

“The Kid has a special Hockey Stick suit, designed to keep others a safe distance away, and always carries extra toilet paper to give to those in need,” says a passage from a press release.

“Kid COVID has super staying-at-home powers enjoying everything from baking bread to making masks from socks.”

The cover of Barbara Matthews’ book, Kid COVID Fights Back.

“I got the idea for the book during a video chat with my buddy, who is turning five,” Matthews said in an email to GuelphWire.

“He told me he wants me to visit him, then looked confused and added, “when the virus is gone”. That got me imagining how this pandemic might be scary and difficult for children. So I created a comic book to entertain kids and their families with hope, beauty, optimism and fun.”

While the book is free to download, there is an option to make a donation.

All donations will be going to Guelph Arts Council, where Matthews is a volunteer board member.”

“Artists need support more than ever in these challenging times,” said Patti Broughton, Executive Director, Guelph Arts Council. “We’re grateful to Barbara for supporting our work through her amazing storytelling and illustration skills, and her volunteer service on GAC’s Board.”

In a quote supporting the book, Kira Vermond, Guelph-based award-winning children’s author and journalist, notes that the book offers useful information for children.

“Mathews’ book, with its imaginative illustrations and easy to follow text, is the perfect remedy for kids’ anxiety and confusion during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Vermond said in the release.

“It acts as a gentle reminder that children indeed have the power to take control by washing their hands, physical distancing and having fun at home with the people they love. “

A download of the book and the option to donate to the Guelph Arts Council can be found at

Written by
Jack Fisher

Jack Fisher is an independent journalist. He holds a BAH from the University of Guelph, and a post-graduate certificate from Sheridan College in journalism.
@Jack_Fisher_4 on Twitter and Instagram

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Written by Jack Fisher