Talking to your kids about a pandemic can be challenging, but Tara Travieso found a way that’s as fun as it is informative.
"I painted this picture by saying ‘pretend that there’s a bubble around you that’s going to keep you safe,’" Travieso explained to the outlet.
"We’re all in our own bubbles right now and it keeps the germs outside of our bubbles and if we’re sick it keeps the germs inside of our bubble so we don’t get other people sick,” she told her 2 and 3-year-old daughters.
"If you get too close to someone the bubble could pop and we don’t want to pop our bubble," she added.
She knew using bubbles helped them understand, but she was surprised how well they retained the information: "I mentioned it one day on a walk in the neighborhood and the next day my older daughter Alex brought it up to me and said, ‘We can go on a walk but we have to stay in our bubbles.’"
Seeing her kids respond so well to the concept inspired Travieso to write a children's book to help other parents who may be struggling to break it down in a way that makes sense to children.
Despite having "no experience" in the publishing realm, she figured it out by reading articles and watching YouTube tutorials. After six weeks of writing during the evenings and into the night after working her full-time job and putting her children to sleep, she self-published her first book titled, "Billie and the Brilliant Bubble: Social Distancing for Children.”
The picture book, which is now available on Amazon, centers around a young girl named Billie who uses an imaginary bubble to protect herself. She informs her friends and inspires them to also get an imaginary bubble.
"I knew that it was relevant right now and that if I was going to help people I had to get it out quickly, so I felt a lot of pressure to put this book together and get it out and available as quickly as possible," Traviesio said.
For the illustrations, she teamed up with fellow mom of two, Bazma Ahmad, in India who she said she “quickly” related to.
As for the bubbles, she's using them to introduce the idea of a life after COVID.
"My daughter will say, ‘Well when our bubbles pop we can go out to a fancy restaurant,’” she explained.