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Free disaster resource developed jointly with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network

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Developed to help young children and their families talk about their experiences and feelings related to COVID-19 and the need to shelter in place.

Even though the virus was still in Littletown, it was good to share their worries.

In the story, the coronavirus has spread to Littletown causing changes in everyone's lives. The story describes how COVID-19 affects Trinka and Sam and their families. We see their reactions and learn how their parents help them to express their feelings and feel safer.

A companion parent guide suggests ways that parents can use the story with their children. A separate booklet contains questions young children may have. Parents can look through this booklet and choose pages they want to include in the story or use the booklet separately with their children.

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The story opens doors to conversations about:

  • COVID-19
  • Ways that families and communities are working together to keep safe from the virus.
  • Family and community strengths
  • Common challenges and reactions in children and adults
  • Ways that families support children and each other
  • Our intense gratitude for frontline workers


Free PDF Version

Click on the image to preview and on the buttons to download a print quality version.

Share this story with others by sharing the link to this page as we may update the PDF and develop new resources. Downloading the PDF means you agree to follow the copyright and Use Guidelines.

NOTE: Story and booklet updated January 12, 2021.

Story Updates


Story updated January 12, 2021 to reflect changes related to the development of the vaccines. The following pages changed.

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Tailoring the Story to Your Community

We recognize that different communities around the world have different levels of the virus and different rules related to wearing masks. We also wanted children reading the book to be able to see the character's faces and relate to them. In the booklet, we included the page (shown on the left) that helps your child and family talk about where the mice should be wearing mask and add them. We hope this is helpful and that it leads to important conversations about the virus and how we try to keep each other safe from the virus.

Free Feeling Poster

Downloading means you agree to the Use Guidelines.


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We designed free postcards/flyers to support the dissemination of the stories. We recommend printing bilingual postcards (one side in English and one in Spanish). To save on toner/ink, use the low ink version.

Free Video Version

Listen to the story as read by the author. You may share this version in trainings, provided you follow the Use Guidelines.

Free Webinar

Webinar Handouts

Click on the images to download each handout.

Slide Handout

Sources of Stress and Sources of Healing

This handout can be used to screen or talk to families about their sources of stress and healing, to make a plan to support them.

Other COVID-Related Resources

Join Piplo Productions creator, Chandra Ghosh Ippen, in conversation with colleagues about COVID-19 and its impact on young children and families.

Podcast for Parents

A conversation with Dr. Barbara Stroud about stress, COVID, young children, and the critical importance of parents.

Podcast for Providers

A conversation with Tena Sloan about young children and COVID-19.

KQED Newsroom

KQED Newsroom Interview with Marisa Lagos: Mental Health in the Age of Social Distancing and Self-Isolating

Your Feedback Helps . . .

  • People know if the stories are useful
  • Us know if we should continue to make resources like this and learn ways to improve them.
  • Foundations decide whether to support the dissemination of the stories. The stories are free, but foundations often pay for photocopies and personnel to spread the share the stories across communities. They need data and your stories.

Available Languages

For some language versions, we have a webpage and additional resources. For others, we provide a link to just the story. 

Click on the image to access the different language versions


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Chinese Traditional

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Click to see which versions are in process 
and to request to translate.

Other Piplo Books to Start Conversations About . . .

Difficult experiences
and feeling scared
Challenging separations
Feelings of anger and sadness
Family member mental health or addiction challenges

In the News

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Update March 31, 2021

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The story launched April 19, 2020. Since then, the English version has been accessed over 110,000 times by over 39,000 unique users. It is also being directly shared by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and multiple other organizations (see below). The Spanish version has been downloaded over 15,500 times by over 5,400 users. Our little friends are supporting families in all 50 states, as well as in DC, Puerto Rico, and 155 other countries.

Some of the Organizations Recommending this Story

This is a small sampling of the organizations recommending our book on their websites. We share them because people often want to know if individuals and organizations have found our books to be useful. Below you will see a sampling of the community organizations, libraries, school and school districts, universities, religious organizations, health and mental health organizations, government organizations, and national organizations, including the US Department of Education and the California State Assembly Democratic Caucus,  who are sharing and recommending our book. We also love seeing that our books are used in other countries, including Canada, the Caribbean, and England.


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The development of this story was supported in part by the Irving Harris Foundation and by grants made to the Early Trauma Treatment Network (ETTN) at the University of California, San Francisco and the National Center of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.

Special Thanks To:

Mindy Kronenberg, Beth Grady, George Grady, Ann Chu, Brooke Kimbro, Lauren Gourley, Lili Gray, Michelle Harvey, Heidi Hills, Gabriela Mendoza, Courtney Naliboff, Heather Nelson, Resa Sandora, Christine Vélez for pilot testing and providing feedback and input on earlier drafts of the story.