A Kilmore author has released her first picture story book, teaching children the importance of good hygiene and healthy habits to avoid germs.
Written and illustrated by Kellie Speechley, ‘Germs! Germs! They don’t care!’ came about because of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which Ms Speechley wanted to educate her children about germs and healthy habits to avoid getting sick.
“I had quite a few ideas, it all came about because my toddler daughter was touching everything during COVID and couldn’t really understand when I was trying to tell her about germs,” she said.
“It helped to visualise germs and the importance of good habits, and with a small child during COVID I also wanted to make it entertaining rather than just scientific.”
The book features a character based on Ms Speechley’s daughter’s favourite toy Miyam the cat, who gets sick and learns about the danger of germs and how he can protect himself and others. Various other animals that can be seen around the Kilmore area also appear.
Germs are shown in the book as physical characters, helping children to understand the concept of germs, and features ways to stay healthy including sneezing into elbows, washing hands and staying home.
Ms Speechley said writing the book was a learning process.
“I’ve got two toddlers and I was learning to write for some time, so I sort of became interested in writing a book from reading similar picture books to my kids,” she said.
“I’m looking to write more books at some point, hopefully to create a series with Miyam and the other animals.”