The Teensy Weensy Virus: Book & Song for Preschoolers by Sherri L. Rose
1- How might someone help convince elected officials, school board members, and parents to mandate masks, social distancing, and handwashing during this pandemic?
There have been so many attempts to do this, based on the science that we know. I believe that the issues regarding correct information around the pandemic started when the U.S. people were not accurately informed of the morbidity and mortality that could come without safety measures with this virus. This did create mistrust. Masks now represent political parties which is tragic. One can still receive daily information from CDC: I have worked with them and used their information throughout my entire career. The general public has not understood the concept that this is truly a NOVEL (NEW) virus, and the scientific information cannot be disbursed as quickly as usual, as daily data has to be collected to observe patterns of the virus to then interpret that to safe behavioral recommendations to the public. It’s just a tragedy that this has become political. When we have received all our other immunizations, to stay healthy, it was never political. We must keep trying on emphasizing that this is a SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION, and it will take years for us to know what we need to know. If one just looks at the WHO map of the pandemic, it is so real.
2- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?
Be passionate about something. My passion to write is driven by the topic and commitment to the people I am writing to. Whether about COVID or a memoir about trauma, I'm moved to share knowledge with people and hopefully relieve pain from a common topic.
3- What most motivates you to read a new book?
The topic. Right now, I’m reading White Too Long, which is the history of the Southern Baptist Church and how white supremacy has pushed this particular denomination far too long…
4- Why does "The Teensy Weensy Virus Song!" share the tune of "itsy bitsy spider"?
Most preschoolers have heard and sung “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.” Hence, they do not need to learn another melody for this song, all they have to do is substitute the new lyrics to “The Teensy Weensy Virus Song.” It’s so much easier for them to sing that way. Gotta keep in mind the developmental level of children when you are producing something for them to enjoy and understand.
5- Would you share a picture with us of your book in a kid-friendly setting?
6- How many translations does your book offer so far?
We currently have six: English, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, French, Hindi & Italian. Soon to be published are Simple Chinese and Thai.
7- What's your Twitter handle, and do you have two or three writer friends on there to shout-out to for #WriterWednesday ?
My twitter handle is @sherrirosebooks . No, I have not acquired writer friends to do that. Great idea!
8- Do you have a favorite #bookstagram image or account/ profile?
No, I do not.
9- Are you a Plotter, Pantser, or Plantser, and how did you adopt that style?
My little book is nonfiction, so I’m not certain I fall into any of these categories. I’m definitely not a Pantser. One could say that I had a plot or goal of writing TTWV, but I wrote it in more of a scientific format, at the developmental level of preschoolers.
10- What does your basic writing schedule look like, and how often do you write?
My preference is to write every morning, Mon-Fri and sometimes Sat. The very best recent interruptions are my new grandchildren. I am trying to spend one day/week with them to also help their precious Mama and Daddy.
11- What is your favorite book by someone else, what's the author's Twitter handle, and what do you love most about that book? #FridayReads book recommendation time!
I am currently writing my memoirs, which includes an experience I had in Thailand, working with Cambodian Refugees in 1979. I have recently thoroughly enjoyed the following book:
Author name: Rosemary Rawlins @rorawlins
Title: All My Silent Years
Love because: It shared the history of the Cambodian Refugees who were fleeing their country due to Pol Pot’s Regime, and I now better understand what their lives were like before they came to us in 1979, in the refugee camps in Thailand. I helped nurse hundreds of them in my short time there.
12- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader?
My goal was to introduce to preschoolers (and include parents and caregivers resources for more information regarding COVID) what in the world was going on around them, and the three basic safety guidelines, which continue: Masks, Handwashing & Distancing. I also wanted to prompt children to express their feelings about the changes around them and possible confusion. I wrote the song was to uplift the children and end with something “jolly” after a somewhat heavy topic. You can see this in the faces of the children in the video while performing the song:
13- What kind of impact do you hope your book will have?
This has been a global mission for me. I was limited in funds as to how many translations I could create, but it is my ultimate hope that this little book will educate little children all over the world to decrease their anxiety and/or stress they might be experiencing over this horrible pandemic. It gives them ways to “feel safe” and to sing about it in a fun way. I also wanted to educate parents and caretakers about the science of the virus and resources they can use for during these difficult times.
14- What is your favorite creative non-writing activity to do?
For right now, fatigue is my enemy, so my husband and I love to watch a good movie at night while I knit, crochet, sew, needlepoint or more. I continue to decorate a three-story doll house he built for me (and the grands); I also love to play the piano, sing, and garden.
15- In what ways are the main characters in your book diverse? diversebooks.org #WeNeedDiverseBooks
I am so proud of the illustrator, Megan Elizabeth Brawand, who provided immense diversity throughout this children’s book. She included so many examples of different kinds of people, lifestyles and even disabilities and she incorporated these beautifully throughout the book.
16- What method do you feel is the best way to get book reviews?
I started by asking friends who had read the book. Then reviews continued as the book has been published.
17- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?
It was urgent for me to get this little book out ASAP. So – self-publishing was the only way to go. I am so pleased with my local publishing and self-publishing companies, Brandylane and Belle Isle Books, here in Richmond, Virginia. They worked so hard as a team to get the books out and to the distributor due to the urgency of the topic.
18- What's the biggest writing goal you hope to accomplish in your lifetime?
I will be very pleased if I can get my first memoir out in the next year or so. Have been working on it since 2017. Good writing takes a long time.
19- Would you please ask our audience a question to answer in the comments?
I would love feedback about my book – and if you wanted to share the book with the little ones in your family! Very sadly, I’ve become painfully aware of how political this scientific topic has become – which makes no sense to me as a retired health care provider. There were no arguments about so many of our immunizations in the past – why now? Please keep your comments nonpolitical, and no name-calling, please.
20- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?
Sherri Rose grew up in Richmond, Virginia. As a retired pediatric and family nurse practitioner, as well and a hospice and palliative care nurse, she recognizes the critical importance of helping children understand what is happening during this pandemic that is currently sweeping our globe. COVID-19 has created so much stress, anxiety, grief, and loss for adults—imagine what children must think but be unable to express!
Inspired by her concerns for the smallest among us—as well as by her own significant grief over not being able to hug her children and grandchildren during quarantine—Sherri began to write this book to help preschoolers understand what is going on and why all of us must follow new rules. As a mother of three daughters and three stepdaughters, as well as a grandmother to many, she hopes that the resources found in this book will be useful to all the readers all over the world. Sherri is having six translations created to spread the importance of basic safety guidelines with this very smart virus. She wrote the lyrics to the little song at the end of the book to have something light and happy after reading about a serious topic.
The Teensy Weensy Virus: Book & Song for Preschoolers by Sherri L. Rose