SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A local author has written a children’s book to help kids better understand and cope with COVID-19 in a creative way.
“Once upon a Quarantine” was created by South Lake Tahoe writer, father and husband Gantt Miller under his pen name, M.C. Behm.
In the spring, Miller realized he wanted to create something positive during a time when so much stress and uncertainty was happening around the world. Miller is a former teacher who taught several different grades, primarily in high school.
During quarantine, Miller and his daughter got creative and started drafting a poem about COVID-19. This poem soon evolved into a book.
The overwhelming response from friends and family inspired Miller to reach out to a publisher and eventually an illustrator.
The book features a ‘COVID monster’ along with superhero frontline workers and scientists. Not only is the book full of informative, positive messages for children about the virus, it is illustrated with detailed artwork by Swapan Debnath, of Kolkata, India.
“I thought it would be a good way to have a positive, optimistic outlook on the virus,” Miller said.
Miller says that the virus has created so many questions, especially for those with young kids who are wondering why they can’t visit their friends and grandparents. Miller said that by drawing a monster, it creates an image that kids could better understand. He also wants to encourage them to do their part and empower them by realizing that not everything is out of their control.
The book also highlights the good things that came out of quarantine such as having the time to cook, garden, and get crafty while also making the most of the time with family.
Another theme from the book is that “we are all in this together” and we are all affected by this novel virus.
“We can get through this — there will be an end to this,” he said.
On Thursday, Nov. 12, Miller held a socially-distanced book reading at the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe. In their multipurpose room, Miller read the book from a projector on stage.
“The Boys and Girls Club did great at following guidelines,” he said. “The kids all responded really well. They picked up on concepts and themes.”
“Once upon a Quarantine” is available at local bookstores and most book retailers.
A percentage of proceeds from all sales will go to benefit the BGCLT.
For more information, visit https://www.behmbooks.com/quarantine-book.