The book reassures children that it is “normal” to feel worried, sad, or to miss their friends during the lockdown. However, it also asks them to remember that their parents or guardians might also be struggling to cope.

“The grown-up or grown-ups who look after you might also feel worried,” it says. “Sometimes they might feel worried about work. Sometimes it might be hard to buy the things that you all need, and that might worry them too.”

It comes after the NSPCC issued advice to parents struggling to entertain their children while working from home during lockdown.

Parents were told “not to overstretch” themselves, to take regular breaks and to set down a regular structure to each day.

Prof Medley said: “This pandemic is changing children’s lives across the globe and will have a lasting impact on us all. 

“Helping children understand what is going on is an important step in helping them cope and making them part of the story – this is something that we are all going through, not something being done to them. 

“This book puts children in the picture rather just watching it happen, and in a way that makes the scary parts easier to cope with.”

Kate Wilson, the managing director of the book’s publisher, Nosy Crow, said: “We were very aware that many parents and carers are struggling to explain the current extraordinary situation to children, many of whom are frightened and confused. We hope it helps answer difficult questions in difficult times.”

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