Today I want to talk to you all about an incredibly timely book called And The People Stayed Home. Kitty O’Meara originally published this wonderful poem on her blog back in March during the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic. The hopeful message of the poem struck a chord with readers across the world, and her poem went viral. I am so pleased this poem made it’s way to this amazing children’s book accompanied by beautiful illustrations from Stefano Di Cristofaro and Paul Pereda.
This book was so special to me, in ways I’m not sure I can fully articulate.
As some of you may know, I gave birth to my first child in January. This magical life-changing experience will always be linked to the COVID 19 outbreak. While we were all learning about the details of the virus, I was also learning how to be a mother. I cannot separate the two experiences, because they happened simultaneously for me.
But it’s fitting, really. Parenthood, especially in the beginning, is a combination of both overwhelming anxiety and overwhelming hope. We fear every little thing that could possibly go wrong, but that fear coexists with more hope than we knew we were capable of even having. In a way, the pandemic has been the same bittersweet combination of fear and hope for humanity’s future. This book perfectly captures this balance many of us felt throughout the last year. It may feel somber in the beginning, but it’s message is hopeful.
This book would make a great holiday gift to readers young and old. Though it was inspired by the pandemic, the optimism for humanity will always be relevant.
I want to give a huge thank you to TRA Publishing for providing a copy of this book for me to review. I will cherish for years to come. I will read this book to my son one day and tell him about his first year of life, when we stayed home.