Sesame Workshop has announced a new picture book, “Heroes Wear Masks: Elmo’s Super Adventure,” that aims to help children manage back-to-school anxiety while understanding the changes they’ll face in their classrooms and playrooms due to COVID-19.
In “Heroes Wear Masks,” children will see Elmo getting ready to head back to school with some changes to his morning routine. Along with his “Sesame Street” friends, Elmo will adopt and adapt to some of the safety measures kids will experience themselves, including:
- Wearing a mask;
- Feeling anxious about leaving home;
- Washing hands frequently;
- Social distancing—not being able to give hugs or high-fives to friends;
- Temperature checks; and
- New classroom seating arrangements.
“One of the most powerful things about the ‘Sesame Street’ muppets is how deeply kids identify with them,” says Steve Youngwood, chief operating officer and president, media & education, Sesame Workshop. “When they see their friend Elmo adjusting to something unfamiliar—like wearing a mask to school—they realize that they can do it too. We’re thrilled to work with Sourcebooks to get this special book to families—we hope it helps ease their back-to-school transitions in this difficult time.”
As schools and day care centers reopen, more than eight million preschoolers and kindergarteners will need to wear face masks during the day. Young children may find the new guidelines put in place because of COVID-19 strange and intimidating. Those new anxieties are addressed in the new book.
“We are so excited to work with our extraordinary partner Sesame Workshop in bringing forth a story that can spark playful learning and offer comfort to families and children facing a new sense of normalcy,” says Karen Shapiro, publishing manager, Sourcebooks Wonderland.
The book will also feature tips for parents and caregivers, including language they can use with young children around handwashing, face masks, back-to-school anxiety and other ways to stay healthy.
For more support, parents can find videos, articles, and games on the “Sesame Street: Caring for Each Other” hub. Created to meet families’ changing needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s regularly updated with free resources designed to help caregivers provide comfort, manage anxiety, create routines and foster playful learning at home