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Pandemic by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley


Based on stories from her Grandma, Jackie French and Bruce Whatley have created a story reminding us of what we can achieve with kindness and by working together to protect, support and care for each other.

Pandemic transports us to the end of World War One (1918-1920) when a virus called the Spanish Flu was brought home by soldiers returning from war and spread rapidly throughout the world. Today, one hundred years later, we are experiencing another global pandemic with a virus called COVID-19.

As the Spanish Flu spread, people followed the rules and went into quarantine to keep everyone safe by staying apart to stop the virus from spreading. Masks were worn, the doors of shops, theatres and schools closed and 'quarantine curtains' were drawn on homes where people were sick. The streets were deserted.

"People can't get better if they're hungry" she said.
And cows must be milked and dogs must be fed."

Great Grandma organised children from healthy families to help their community. Children rode their bicycles and ponies across the empty land to milk cows, feed dogs and chooks, pick ripe fruit and vegetables and deliver food to saucepans waiting on doorsteps. Eventually the Spanish Flu was defeated and people came together again to celebrate and continue with their lives once more.

Amazingly, Bruce Whatley illustrated Pandemic during his two weeks of hotel quarantine. Bruce could only use the art materials he had on hand so he used a ballpoint pen for the first time for his line work and perfectly captured the bleak mood of the pandemic with the limited paint colours he had available.

Jackie has also included her Great Grandma's Banana Custard recipe on the endpapers for you to try along with how to make Lemon Barley Water.

As you read Pandemic what similarities can you find between the Spanish Flu and COVID-19

Look for the helpers.
You will always find people who are helping.

(Fred Rogers)

Happy reading!


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2 thoughts on “Pandemic by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley

  1. Meg

    This book looks wonderiful! Thank you for sharing it. And I loved your Mr Rogers quote. There are always helpers, we just need you remember to look for them! ❤️

    1. Miss Y

      Thanks, Meg

      Pandemic is an empowering and positive book to share with students. You're right, we need to remember to look for the helpers.

      Happy reading!

      Kim 🙂


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