Florida mom writes children's book to help explain social distancing to kids

Megan Sims
·4 mins read
Tara Travieso created a book to explain socially distancing to her children, but never could have imagined the reach it would have. (Photo: Tara Travieso)
Tara Travieso created a book to explain socially distancing to her children, but never could have imagined the reach it would have. (Photo: Tara Travieso)

A Florida mother is using the power of the pen to teach children about social distancing with the release of her first book, Billie and the Brilliant Bubble: Social Distancing for Children. The book is listed as the No. 1 new release in Amazon’s children social science book section.

Mother of two, Tara Travieso of Jacksonville, Fla., tells Yahoo Life that her life changed drastically overnight since the start of the pandemic.

“Both my husband and I work full time, so normally, our children are at school or with a nanny about 45 hours a week,” she says. “Now, we essentially have 3 full-time jobs for our family and are juggling schedules everyday.”

Travieso adds that she has truly been enjoying the additional family time, especially doing different activities with her daughters Alex, 3, and Addison, 2, like bike riding, scavenger hunts, painting and dance parties, among other things. But it was during a neighborhood walk that she got the idea to teach her daughter about an imaginary bubble to help her navigate social distancing.

“She picked it up immediately. From then on, it stuck for us and our entire family... A child’s imagination is so impressive to me. I am in awe at the way they can have so much fun with nothing, and I’m also in awe at how much their brains retain,” she explains.

Travieso's daughters Alex, 3, and Addison, 2, were the inspiration behind her first book. (Photo: Tara Travieso)
Travieso's daughters Alex, 3, and Addison, 2, were the inspiration behind her first book. (Photo: Tara Travieso)

The first-time author admits that writing the book was simple, but she had not realized what lie ahead.

“The publishing process was a lot harder,” she says. “I didn’t even have the right computer programs to edit and combine the text with the illustrations. Marketing is brand new to me, too. Luckily, with the internet, you can figure anything out with dedication.”

Though the employee benefits consultant never imagined that she would become a children’s book author, she is happily overwhelmed from the response she has gotten.

“It sort of feels like a dream,” she admits. “However, I probably wouldn’t have taken such a leap of faith if I didn’t truly believe the opportunity for success and relevance was there. I’ve also received messages of thanks from quite a few people that are struggling to explain social distancing to their children. I hope every child walks around in a bubble with confidence. I hope we normalize safe space. I hope families struggling to explain social distancing feel armed by this book and its friendly message.”

Travieso also advises parents struggling to explain the pandemic to their children to not feel bad because everyone is learning, and they should do their best to respect others as they do their best to figure it out.

For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.

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