7 Children’s Books About Hygiene And Staying Healthy

7 Children’s Books About Hygiene And Staying Healthy

“Remember to wash your hands!” “Don’t rub your eyes!” “Keep your fingers out of your mouth!” We may have found ourselves reminding – or perhaps nagging at – our kids since the novel coronavirus Covid-19 arrived in Singapore. But in all honesty, good hygiene is something every child should practise, whether there is a health threat or not. To motivate the little ones to action, here are some interesting children’s books about hygiene and staying healthy that are worth reading with them:


For Older Preschoolers And Lower Primary Kids

Curious George Discovers Germs

Curious George Discovers Germs
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Kids love Curious George, the good little monkey who is always very curious. So if our repetitions of “wash your hands” seem to be falling on deaf ears, maybe a story about George’s encounter with germs will pique our own little monkeys’ interest?

‘Curious George Discovers Germs’ is pitched as a science storybook and is adapted from two episodes of the popular Curious George animated television series. In the book, George shrinks to the size of a germ and embarks on an adventure inside his own body to find out what has caused him to fall sick!

Little readers will be tickled by funny characters Toots the singing germ and his backup singers, the Germettes. They will also be awed by the sight of the body’s respiratory system, just like how George is amazed that he is “watching himself breathe”.

Whatever knowledge George picks up in the course of the adventure, such as how germs are spread and why it is important to wash our hands, these little ones will be excitedly learning too. Hopefully, George’s heroic effort to save Professor Wiseman from being infected in the finale will inspire them to stop the spread of viruses and bacteria in real life!

The story is supplemented by did-you-know columns filled with interesting facts such as why chicken soup is good for a cold, how coughing into the elbow helps prevent the spread of germs, and when we should wash our hands. These are good for further exploration by older kids who are better able to grasp the information.

Although I think that the book is not as good as the two television episodes it is adapted from, it is still a fun read for kids. The nuggets of factual information also add to its educational value.

Availability: You can buy this book from online bookstores such as Book Depository or Amazon, or borrow a hard copy from the library or the e-book from NLB Overdrive.

Sick Simon

Sick Simon
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You know how kids are sometimes rather gross right? They have no problems with wiping their mucus on their arms or picking their noses and eating the boogers. This book would probably intrigue them with its icky beginning, where Simon the protagonist is pictured with a super drippy nose yet says he is ready for the “best week ever”.

The story continues with how sick Simon enjoys his week, kissing his family good morning, sharing snacks with his friends, going on a school field trip and playing together with other kids during recess. It works in a somewhat reverse psychology kind of way, building up to when Simon gets praised by viruses and bacteria as being a germ hero!

Seeing Simon get schooled by the villains in the story – the germs tell him, “You never wash your hands! You never cover your mouth…. You love spreading germs!” – is not only funny, but also impactful for children who may be so used to adults nagging at them that they just switch off.

Availability: You can buy this book from online bookstores such as Book Depository or Amazon, or borrow a hard copy from the library. You can also enjoy a reading of the story via this video.

Cutie Sue Fights The Germs

Cutie Sue Fights The Germs
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‘Cutie Sue Fights The Germs’ is quite the opposite of ‘Sick Simon’. It is a pro-authority story, in which Sue relies on her mother and doctor’s advice to fight germs and get well.

With rhyming prose, pretty illustrations and a positive attitude, the book helps children understand that bacteria and viruses cause them to fall sick and that they should do their part to make sure that their germs do not spread to others.

In the story, Cutie Sue and her brother proclaim, “We will win the fight! Our germs will not spread if we do these things right. We’ll sneeze into tissues and throw them away, and clean all our toys with some good cleaning spray.”

They go on to talk about covering their mouths when they cough, washing their hands, airing their room…. It is obvious that they have learnt well. Hopefully, our little readers will too.

Availability: You can buy this book from online bookstores such as Book Depository or Amazon, or enjoy a reading of the story via this video

Oh, The Things You Can Do That Are Good For You!

Oh, The Things You Can Do That Are Good For You!
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It is always fun to read a Dr Seuss book. This one brings on the giggles with characters like the Snuff-Gruffle who has no time to play because he sneezes 90 times a day, and the Zing-Singing Zanz who has written a song about washing hands.

While wildly imaginative, ‘Oh, The Things You Can Do That Are Good For You!’ does not miss out on facts. Children will learn that soap and water get rid of the germs on their hands, and sneezing into their elbows help prevent their friends from getting sick, among many other things.

The book does not only focus on germs, but also touches on other aspects of staying healthy, such as exercising regularly, having a balanced diet, sleeping well, and even maintaining one’s emotional wellbeing!

So if the kids want to jump into the Thinga-ma-jigger with the Cat in the Hat and learn something new, we parents will not mind at all if they do.

Availability: You can buy this book from online bookstores such as Book Depository or Amazon, or borrow a hard copy from the library. You can also enjoy a reading of the story via this video.


For Preschoolers

Sesame Street’s Happy Healthy Monsters – Squeaky Clean (All About Hygiene)

Sesame Street’s Happy Healthy Monsters – Squeaky Clean (All About Hygiene)
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For children’s books about hygiene and staying healthy to appeal to younger children, they need to be fun to read and easy to understand. ‘Squeaky Clean (All About Hygiene)’ has another thing going for it: it features Sesame Street characters that children know and love!

The book mimics the format of a talk show, with Elmo as host. His guests on the show include Ernie, Bert, Grover, Cookie Monster and Baby Bear, who are here to share about personal hygiene in general with the audience.

Handwashing is one of the topics covered in the show. Grover demonstrates how to do it correctly, and explains why we should wash our hands and when.

Elmo and Grover also talk about why we should cover our mouths when we sneeze and the reason the arm is better than the hand for this purpose.

Children will find it easy to follow the clear instructions such as counting to 20 when washing hands and remember catchy rules like Cookie Monster’s “only touch it if going to take it” with regard to food.

With the kids learning good hygiene habits, it is going to be sunny days ahead!

Availability: You can buy this book from online bookstores such as Book Depository or Amazon, or borrow a hard copy from the library or the e-book from NLB Overdrive.

Germs Are Not For Sharing

Germs Are Not For Sharing
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This book tells little children what to do in different scenarios, such as when they sneeze, cough or go to the toilet – because germs are not for sharing! The repetitive structure, easy-to-understand instructions and conscious decision not to focus on what germs are make this an ideal book for younger kids.

Availability: You can buy this book from online bookstores such as Book Depository or Amazon, or borrow a hard copy from the library. You can also enjoy a reading of the story via this video.

What Are Germs?

What Are Germs?
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Few children’s books about hygiene are as interactive as ‘What Are Germs?’, which comes with 30 flaps to lift for extra nuggets of information.

The book answers a wide range of questions related to germs, from what germs are to where they live, how they are spread, how our bodies fight them, what medicines do, and how to stop them from spreading.

With its adorable illustrations and lively tone, ‘What Are Germs?’ is an inviting book that little ones will want to read over and over again.

Availability: You can buy this book from online bookstores such as Book Depository or Amazon, or borrow a hard copy from the library. You can also get an idea of how the book works via this video.

READ: Useful Resources That You Can Use to Share with Kids About Covid-19

 

 

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