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The Children’s Book Review
Written by Kitty O’Meara
Illustrated by Stefano DiCristofaro and Paul Pereda
Age Range: 3+
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Tra Publishing (November 10, 2020)
What to expect: Optimism and Healing During a Pandemic
A stunning and peaceful offering of introspection and hope is brought to life with joyful illustrations that warm the heart with gentle and fulfilling reconciliation.
And the People Stayed Home, written in March 2020 by Kitty O’Meara (a former teacher, chaplain and spiritual director), is a positive response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of quarantine. The poem, which went viral when it was first published on a social media platform, gives readers the hopeful message that this time could be used for inner healing. Readers will receive a dose of optimism as the text and illustrations unveil an appreciation for the simple things. The book also works as an inspirational list of things to do and ways of being. Joy and hope can be found during the pandemic. Home can offer surprising adventures. O’Meara reminds us to be still and to listen. When we meet our shadows, we can learn to think differently and even heal. Even Earth can begin to heal while we stay home.
Written so smoothly that the prose effortlessly captivates, this is a story that will open minds of all ages as well as appeal to those that are already open to creating new ways of living. Much encouragement is given to listening—to others as well as to ourselves—and coming together. As the final page turns, the result is the feeling of an open heart. The artwork is warm and inviting, offering diversity and inclusivity through the people shown. Joy radiates from faces, and the hand gestures and body movements evince love and care. Even the endpapers include intricacies to delve into.
If one were to look back at this historical moment, this book would be a beautiful reminder that your family used this time to heal. And the People Stayed Home is a pandemic must-have!
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About the Author
Kitty O’Meara lives in Full Moon Cottage, near Madison, Wisconsin on a river and a bike trail, with her husband, Phillip Hagedorn, their five dogs, three cats, gardens, and books. A former teacher and chaplain and a spiritual director, O’Meara has been a lifelong writer and artist. And the People Stayed Home is her first print book.
For more information, visit https://andthepeoplestayedhomebook.com/.
About the Illustrators
Stefano Di Cristofaro is an illustrator and designer whose works have been widely exhibited. Raised in Venezuela and Italy, he currently lives and works in Mexico City. He has previously illustrated the children’s books Conejo y Conejo, Guachipira va de viaje, and La Sayona y otros cuentos de espantos. His family says that when he was little, he only stayed still if he was given a pencil and a piece of paper.
Paul Pereda is an illustrator who has primarily worked in video game development and trading card games with clients such as Disney, Nickelodeon, Atari, and MTV. Born in Venezuela, he now lives in Madrid. He has been passionate about drawing since he was a child; his mother carried drawing supplies everywhere they went to keep him busy and calm.
Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. This is a sponsored, non-biased review of “And the People Stayed Home.” Learn more about getting a book review …