JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Every day, something new happens with the pandemic. Understanding it all is difficult for people of all ages, but trying to help our children understand is another hurdle.
We told you about Jacksonville mom Tara Travieso who wrote "Billie and the Brilliant Bubble" to help explain social distancing. Since then, the book has gained attention across the country.
Travieso says going back to school was the next challenge for families, and it was the next step in her character Billie's story. She says Billie continues the same theme of social distancing via her imaginary bubble, but other topics are discussed in this book. You'll notice illustrations of students and teachers in masks, as well.
“The other really important thing that I’m continuing is the way that we are talking about big, tough, and challenging conversations in a simple way that’s positive and not scary," Travieso said.
She's a full-time mom and consultant and now a part-time author. She says writing these books feels similar to her job because both involve problem solving.
In "Billie Goes Back To School," Billie returns to her brick-and-mortar school. One page reads, “We can’t drink from the water fountain. We will be outside more often doing things like playing, gardening, and doing other activities in fresh air. We will wash our hands often.”
Even though her children are too young for school, she wants them to know what is happening and not be scared.
“They are always amazing me with how much they really can understand," Travieso said.
Billie’s friends in the book do virtual school and home school. One illustration shows a virtual student on the computer with her classmates on the computer monitor resembling a Zoom conference. This illustration would only make sense in 2020.
“I, you know, have talked to many teachers and people were concerned about how to go back to school. A lot of people didn’t know how to address that," she said. So Travieso made sure to address all of the options.