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Ebook Details
  • 10/2021
  • 9781736561201
  • 104 pages
  • $9.99
Paperback Details
  • 10/2021
  • 9780981243931
  • 104 pages
  • $19.95
Sabbithry Persad
Author, Illustrator
What Is Coronavirus?: How It Infects, How It Spreads, and How to Stay Safe
Sabbithry Persad, author and illustrator

Young Adult; Science, Nature, Technology, Psychology, PhilosophyScience & Nature; (Market)

An instructive foundation on coronavirus and the COVID-19 pandemic, with accurate, factual, and relevant information. The COVID-19 pandemic can be scary and hard to understand for both young readers and adults! What Is Coronavirus? is a stunningly illustrated, science-based book that provides readers with context for a complicated issue. It explains virus and coronavirus basics, SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes, how the virus affects the body, what scientists are doing, and the steps to stay safe and curb the spread. Readers also learn about past pandemics and how they ended, offering an optimistic outlook for the future. For anyone looking for straight answers to tough questions and a tool to sort fact from fiction, "What Is Coronavirus?" decodes the mystery—and dispels the fear—surrounding SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19.
— Alexander

Sabbithry Persad’s new book is titled What is Coronavirus?: How it Infects, How it Spreads, and How to Stay Safe. Under normal circumstances, the illustrated intermediate children’s book would come across as a solid addition to what normally lines a classroom’s bookshelves. The images accompanying the simple, evocative text are bright, colorful, and immersive - likely to hold its targeted audience’s attention rapt with considerable interest. But one can’t help but think of the severity of the circumstances surrounding the book, and necessitating its individual existence as a literary accomplishment. Persad does an excellent job at not making the targeted reader age group feel frightened nor overwhelmed by what is heady information for anyone at any age. But as an adult looking in at what she’s provided for our children, you can’t help but think back to something equating to entertaining conduits at the time for what was the HIV crisis in the ‘80s. Except this time, the virus does not discriminate in any discernible way. As much as Persad succeeds at creating something wholly comprehensible and endearing for her readers, one can’t help but look at the book with a sense of melancholy. How many generations will have to grow up with the Covid-19 pandemic being a constant presence in their lives?Should the virus be curbed in future years, especially provided if it doesn’t become endemic, books like Sabbithry Persad’s What is Coronavirus? will hold an interesting place in a retrospective sense. It will be one of the rare culturally relevant literary accomplishments that won’t be a product of its time as time itself passes. The Covid-19 pandemic, the second great pandemic in modern history since the Spanish Flu originating in 1918, will go down as a novel period of time future generations will look at with a sense of menace, and probably a sense of gratitude. Gratitude that they didn’t have to live through the unchecked stages. It will make anything covering the illness at the time, including Persad’s book, have historical relevancy very few creative achievements in today’s time possess. So as much as the book does a terrific job at evoking the severity of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, with a safe and scare-free approach stylistically, the macabre mystique of the events surrounding it threaten to overwhelm.All in all I would highly recommend the book, preferably to an age group between the ages of 8 and 12. Persad treats the targeted audience like smart, intelligent, free-thinking beings, not writing with the preconceived notions of what makes a ‘child’. Coupled with equally low-key but gorgeously-rendered illustrations that share a symbiotic relationship with the text, the book isn’t exactly escapist. But it does make the unfathomable into something empathetic, and something human. At the end of the day, it’s work like this I will look forward to seeing twenty years later. Hopefully in a world where we will have straightened a few things out - socially, politically, and with respect to worldwide health… 

-- Colin Jordan

Sabbithry Persad, MBA has followed up her Garbology Kids waste management series with the release of What Is Coronavirus?: How It Infects, How It Spreads, and How to Stay Safe. To say such an addition is timely would be a massive understatement. The thing I loved when reading the book was how she designed and structured it narratively. It’s an image-driven book no doubt, complete with brightly colored, moderately stylized drawings that by themselves prove arresting. But on top of that, the book is structured like a series of conjoined flashcards, the text beautifully married to the arrangement of images themselves.

The read is likely for an intermediate elementary audience, younger children likely won’t enjoy the design, but older kids may find comfort in having things explained in a way that isn’t excessive, but wholly informative. Persad and two editors who worked with her — Camilly P. Pires de Mello, Ph.D. and Viveca Giongo, Ph.D. respectively — seem interested in making what even for adults has proven incomprehensible as understandable as possible for the widest possible audience. It’s a valiant effort that pays off. Whenever the text becomes too wordy, you always have a beautiful illustration or evocation on the page, bookending one point or aptly worded statistic to the next.


“People talk a lot about viruses, but what are they?” Persad writes on page one. “Viruses are one of the four major types of germs: bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. Viruses are microscopic organisms that have four main characteristics: structure, size, shape, and host dependency.” It’s through this sort of peeling onion technique that she’s able to instill a sense of calm, maybe even excitement, for the targeted reader. Something causing a big, scary world is suddenly shrunk to a level where kids can dissect it intellectually, laid out expertly from A to Z. This is further reflected in page two, titled Are viruses dead or alive? “Viruses challenge the concept of a clear distinction between living and dead,” Persad writes. “Scientists are not sure if viruses are living or nonliving. Biologists use a common set of criteria to understand if something is alive or not. Viruses do not meet most of these criteria.”

Riffs on phrases like Truth is Power apply here. Indeed, by making kids feel empowered at such a historically torturous and divided time, Persad simultaneously performs a worthy literary feat, and something of a public service. What Is Coronavirus?: How It Infects, How It Spreads, and How to Stay Safe may very well have a place in a historical exhibit, at a later point in time. If not for its actual literary prowess, then simply for its place in time — an everyday example of a period that offered unfathomable difficulty for so many Americans. It’s tricky to think of an era existent after the Covid-19 pandemic. Of course, it is probably the second great American pandemic since the Spanish Flu post turn of the century. But books like Persad’s offer a glimmer of hope with respect to that. They reinforce that with careful implementations in place, one can successfully navigate their way through something gargantuan…

-- Daniel D Staats

What Is Coronavirus? is not only a question on the lips of millions of people, it is also the name of a very informative book on the subject by Sabbithry Persad. Sabbithry seeks to clear the air concerning the what, how, why, and how long of coronavirus in current times. Viruses and viral diseases are not easy to understand. Therefore, Sabbithry takes this complex subject and explains it to the layperson. This book will help most people come to a better understanding of all things coronavirus. In addition, this book covers the history of viruses and the history of attempts to prevent the spread of viruses. One question I have heard often has to do with how the vaccine for COVID-19 came about so fast. Sabbithry explains the answer. This book is comprehensive in its exploration of COVID-19.

Sabbithry Persad has tackled the challenging subject of the current pandemic crisis in What Is Coronavirus? While Sabbithry has a bachelor’s in sociology, she navigates the medical field like a pro. She claims she writes for children and young people but her style of writing and clarity of explanation will be engrossing for adults too. This book will help even the most curious find answers concerning the virus. The pandemic and all the hype surrounding it is scary for everyone, especially young people. However, Sabbithry explains everything so well that she allays fear and replaces it with knowledge. This book is exceptionally well written and is a must-read during this time of confusion.

-- Dr. Maria Gintova (Policy Studies), MPA

This is a great read for both children an adults - you will definitely learn something new! Illustrations are fabulous and help to understand the concepts discuss in the book. Moreover, there are quite a few diverse characters to follow. Highly recommend to unpack and explore the virus that changed the world as we knew it. 

-- Kendall Townsend

Sabbithry Persad, MBA, along with Camilly P. Pires de Mello, Ph.D. and Viveca Giongo, Ph.D. serving in editorial positions, has achieved the impossible. An intermediate children’s book that pulls no punches, but never at the expense of comfort. It’s titled What Is Coronavirus?: How It Infects, How It Spreads, and How to Stay Safe. Like its title would suggest, the book is an illustrated how-to guide on its subject matter, detailing in candid but non-excessive prose and blurbs the origins and traits of the virus itself, and with that how to handle its existence in the current climate. The sense of calm Persad and her literary team radiate is crucial to the book’s success in its genre. It’s clean, informative, and should make older children and preteens feel empowered. The book’s content is divided into several distinctive sections, titled accordingly: Virus Basics, Understanding Coronaviruses, Coronavirus and the Body, Coronavirus and the Environment, Combatting Coronavirus, plus an extensive glossary section.

Persad is a graduate of New York University and the University of Central Florida, with a sociology degree and an MBA formerly and with respect to the latter. Works like What Is Coronavirus?: How It Infects, How It Spreads, and How to Stay Safe are clearly right in her wheelhouse. Her previous literary accomplishments include the Garbology Kids waste management series, having enjoyed success both in American and Canadian markets. She’s also the founder of Firewater Media Group and Green Solutions Magazine, a publication specializing in solving environmental issues with environment-friendly solutions. Her sense of paying it back is matched by her attention to detail. What Is Coronavirus?: How It Infects, How It Spreads, and How to Stay Safe is literally beautiful to look at. From the evocative and colorful illustrations, to the overall design of the book. Right down to the text.

“During this time of change and uncertainty, it is important to practice self-care and maintain a structured schedule,” Persad writes in one of the book’s key sections. “There are many ways to stay healthy while SARS-CoV-2 infections fluctuate. Take some time to care for your body and your mind. Increase your immune strength so you feel your best.” True to form, Persad uses this as something akin to a thesis statement or a generalized topical christening, breaking the rest of the chapter down into illustrated blurbs showcasing various ways to achieve that. From featured passages highlighting the need for physical activity and hydration, to basics such as eating a healthy diet, ensuring consistent good quality sleep, fighting fatigue with walks and physical stimulation, avoiding stressful triggers, monitoring and mitigating physical symptoms, and staying in consistent contact with a medical professional.

This is pretty much the design of each of the specialized chapter sections, another standout in this vein titled Mind Your Mental Health. In this part of the book, Persad writes, “SARS-CoV-2 and health measures to prevent its spread have disrupted all our lives…The impact can affect our mental health, including our emotional and psychological well-being. Even when the pandemic outlook improves, recognizing psychological distress like depression and stress is key to managing mental health.”

— David Lewis

This book was a very easy read, answering almost all the questions that I had in one book. I, especially loved the illustrative presentation. So easy to navigate the book and find information. Excellent overview of sars-cov-2, with lots of technical details clearly and smartly written in few pages. I would highly recommend. 

— Dr. Jacalyn Newman (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Microbiology), Medical

Reading this book is a genuine pleasure. The graphics-intensive format makes complex topics approachable. This book is accessible to anyone who can read at a high school level but can easily be shared with younger readers by an adult who can help answer questions.The author, Sabbithry Persad, does a lovely job of explaining what a virus is and how it replicates in a host cell. Are they alive? The author tackles that and shows why viruses are neither living nor non-living as defined by biologists. You can’t kill something that isn’t alive, but you can inactivate it. The author explains that, too. A vast variety of viral types and replication types are introduced. This is not necessary for understanding SARS-CoV-2, but useful to put it into the context of the wider microbial world. Curious readers might be prompted to do further reading while someone only interested in COVID-19 can skim and move on. The visual presentation makes skimming for specific topics easy, and it makes this subject so much more accessible to readers who lack confidence in their science skills.There are times when the terminology gets technical and assumes the reader has some familiarity with cellular structures and functions. This is when the images carry a reader through the process well enough to get the basic idea. For a casual reader, this is probably enough. The glossary in the back provides some assistance and the appendix includes a comprehensive list of references. In future editions, I’d like to see the glossary expanded to include definitions of all of the specialized terms. However, this is a minor criticism. I recognize how difficult it can be to decide what to include to stay both accessible and accurate. This book balances these needs with skill and sensitivity, aided in large part by the artwork.I have to add that I am very pleased to see the diversity of humans conveyed in the images. Ethnic and gender diverse people are represented, ensuring every reader can find someone they relate to in the graphics. This is incredibly important. This pandemic affects everyone and the efforts to understand this virus, treat patients, and develop vaccines have been undertaken by people all over the world. It is refreshing to see diversity in the scientific community presented as the default rather than an exception.Moving beyond the biology of the virus, the text explores the history of other pandemics, the controversies about social and economic strategies in this time of upheaval, and how different populations have been disproportionately affected by medical, governmental, and social policies. This context is valuable, and I am gratified to see it was included.If I were still teaching college, I would be happy to use this resource in my introductory biology, microbiology, and my writing in science courses. I hope to see this book in public libraries, medical waiting rooms, and high schools. I’ll be purchasing a copy to add to our home library and another to send to my parents to help them understand this pandemic more clearly. Not only is it a great resource, but it will be an amazing souvenir to share with future generations. I imagine my children as “the old folks talking” about the pandemic that changed the world forever, holding this book as they share their memories.  

— Dr. Noelle Ochotny (Cell Biology and Biochemistry), M.Sc. (Pharmacology), Me

I enjoyed reading this book! The cover caught my eye, and the title made me want to read the book. The illustrations and graphics that accompany the text are colorful and lively and kept me engaged. The book is accessible for teens and adults with or without a science background.

The book begins with a detailed explanation of what a virus is. Though interesting and informative for the curious reader, this part of the book is not essential for gaining an understanding of the coronavirus Sars CoV-2. For readers who are only interested in COVID-19, this part of the book can be skimmed or skipped. The rest of the book is all about coronavirus: coronavirus in general, coronavirus and the body, coronavirus and the environment, and combatting coronavirus.

Some readers may struggle with the terminology. However, the illustrations and graphics give the reader enough context to understand the basic idea. The glossary at the back also helps. The glossary could be expanded to include definitions for all scientific terms.

The coronavirus pandemic affects everyone. People from all over the world have been working to understand coronavirus, treat patients, and develop vaccines. I find the ethnic and gender diversity of humans in the graphics so vitally important. All readers will be able to find someone that they can relate to in the images.

I appreciate that the book covers topics beyond the biology of the virus, including a description of past pandemics and their social and economic impacts. This information helps place the current pandemic into a wider historical context.

If you are curious about coronavirus and would like to learn more about it, I highly recommend this book.

— Jason Hillenburg

Author and sociologist Sabbithry Persad faces a familiar dilemma with her book "What Is Coronavirus? How It Infects, How It Spreads, and How to Stay Safe" – explicating the seemingly inexplicable. Her mission, more specifically, is to explain coronavirus to children, how its contracted, how to deal with it, despite the steep learning curve the virus imposes on us all.She isn’t a novice. Her creation of the Garbology Kids waste management series for children establishes a proven track record for this work. Introducing children to adult concepts in an enlightening and non-threatening way is a skill we don’t place a high premium on in our society; Persad possesses this rare gift.Persad wisely observes some time-tested rules. She keeps the book brief. Tailoring its length to the limited attention span of its target audience is essential for its success and Persad makes several smart decisions about her focus that pay off for readers. The prose maintains a conversational air and she limits her vocabulary without ever dumbing down the subject matter. The colorful presentation makes it even more digestible. It isn’t gaudy by any measure, but Persad understands her likely readers will appreciate an eye-catching product rather than one reliant on text alone. It doesn’t cheapen the subject’s seriousness. Instead, the book’s visual aspects enrich the reading experience without diminishing its informative value.It has the necessary urgency. There’s an underlying seriousness in the book appropriate for its audience and this is one of the areas where Persad shines brightest. Her intuitive skill for achieving the right tone helps "What Is Coronavirus?" stand out and betters its chances of making a genuine impact on readers. She takes on a heavy load bearing responsibility for both the written and illustrated portions of the book. The former is a model of objective writing; Persad prizes supportable data rather than opinion. This, however, is where the book runs into potential issues. Some readers, even adults, will stumble over many of the names and medical terminology – for instance, reverse transcriptase viruses, gapped +/-dsDNA-RT, etc. Perhaps such stumbles are unavoidable considering the subject matter. Many will, however, crave a more digestible method for conveying such information.You cannot help but applaud her illustrations. They are lush without ever appearing overwrought. She favors a realistic portrayal of facial features, bodies, and so forth fitting for the book’s purpose. Another strong suit is how Persad places coronavirus in its proper context with other pandemics and viruses humankind has suffered from over the centuries.Her decision to avoid any political agenda is welcome. The politicization of human life over the last eighteen plus months has left lasting scars on the social order and Persad doesn’t inflict any additional injuries. "What Is Coronavirus? How It Infects, How It Spreads, and How to Stay Safe", instead, tries filling the continuing and ever-growing information gap wreaking as much damage as anything else during this period. The fact that it does so in an eye-pleasing, polished, and condensed manner is a bonus for us all. 

— Jestine Ware, author and writing professional

This comprehensive guide to COVID-19 is very informative and demystifies COVID-19. I hope that it will change minds and ease fears around viruses for years to come!  

— Keyla

Virus topics are usually complicated and too scientific, but the organization with all the graphics in this book were very helpful. I particularly appreciated how well the writer shows the virus in the broader Coronavirus family and in relation to other related coronaviruses. Now I understand that this virus is not the first and may not be the last.  

— Moon L Twayana, Ph.D. Candidate, Graduate TA, Molecular Biologist, Geneticis

Our understanding of COVID-19 may never be complete, and it will be an ongoing process. In this beautiful book, the author’s aim to inform the readers about the Coronavirus, the COVID-19 and safety measures, and the global impact COVID-19 pandemic, is accomplished in a very engaging and articulate manner. This book is an excellent reference to learn about viruses and their biological properties, history, and classification. It encompasses an exclusive collection of information about various human viruses including COVID-19 causing virus, SARS-CoV-2. The author dissects the anatomy of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection in humans, thereafter, enlists the organs other than lungs that are affected by this infection. She carefully unfolds the complex terms with easy-to-understand explanations—for instance—while explaining the concept of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic. The schematic diagrams and the creative illustrations that are used in this book make the reading experience more thrilling and fun-filled. Therefore, this book can be a great resource for the early science-enthusiast, the non-science, non-fiction readers, and anyone curious about COVID-19 and coronavirus. Its greatest value comes from the huge array of facts that the author presents, regarding the numbers and the histories related to the human viruses especially coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2, and COVID-19, and from the profound use of color-coordinated illustrations presented in the book. Hence, it can be a wonderful addition to a middle school, high school, and public libraries. One of the many intriguing structures of the book is the “fast facts” after each chapter or subchapter. It serves as a dessert at the end of the meal. Various complex terms and terminologies are defined in simple terms either directly after the terms or in the parenthesis or under the glossaries section. The author starts with direct questions to the readers before most of the new topics, and she has succeeded in personally communicating with the readers. A few of the fascinating subjects for me were strains and variants, the most recent Mimivirus, "post-acute COVID-19 syndrome", “COVID fatigue or burn”. The book is both scientific and simplistic at the same time. For instance, ACE2 is a receptor for virus attachment to the cells however, ACE2 has been given “The Door to the Cell” name as well . Although some of the images were too small to read the details, and few pages appeared a bit wordy, they do not intrude on the author’s charm in keeping readers excited. The understandings of what scientists and the government are doing to combat the COVID -19 gives us a futuristic hope of living through the COVID-19 and many more pandemics we may see in the future. In summary, I had a unique reading experience. As much as I enjoyed reading this book, I hope every reader will do too. I highly recommend this book.

Fighting Off Pandemic Fatigue: How To Stay Mentally And Physically Healthy

Since it began, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused profound distress. As people navigate the fluctuations in cases rising and falling and the economic uncertainty, many have battled the onset of depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental health conditions, as well as physical fatigue from the new pandemic lifestyle.

Moreover, pandemic fatigue has led to a decline in adhering to public health measures such as social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand-washing hygiene.

Now that we have a better understanding from experts that the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to continue as an endemic we will have to live with, we all need to stay on top of our mental and physical health to deter pandemic fatigue.

Here are some tips to break free from the doldrums. (cont'd)

How Parents Can Inform Young Adults about Defeating COVID-19

By Sabbithry Persad 

As parents attempt to demystify the science around the COVID-19 pandemic for their older children, they can become lost in the reams of information bombarding them. Their ability to decode the virus’ mysterious spread and inform their tweens and teens will empower them to take simple, commonsense precautions that will keep them and others healthy. These explanations and safety tips can help. ...

Sabbithry Persad - author What Is Coronavirus?

Sabbithry Persad - author What Is Coronavirus?
A new workbook for schools to educate about safe health practices in the time of Covid 19

Ebook Details
  • 10/2021
  • 9781736561201
  • 104 pages
  • $9.99
Paperback Details
  • 10/2021
  • 9780981243931
  • 104 pages
  • $19.95