Bop-It and No More Covid
Jessica J. Wohlgemuth
Tellwell Talent (2020)
Reviewed by Amy Lignor for Reader Views (04/2022)
I think everyone can agree that the heights of this pandemic were horrible, and the aftermath of living with COVID-19 for the rest of time hasn’t improved our attitudes all that much. Only recently have we seen a sliver of light peek through the drama, as face mask rules and regulations slowly disappear, sports in closed arenas have the fans thumping and screaming in the stands once again, and movie theaters have reopened to allow the lovers of the big screen to come back in and take a seat. But the cloud hanging over our heads continues. It’s extremely difficult to educate our children about this when we barely know anything ourselves. All they want to know is why on earth they can’t go to school; why they can’t play with their friends; and what’s behind all this fear and annoyance they see on their parents’ faces.
“Bop-It and No More Covid” by Jessica J. Wohlgemuth allows a much easier path to educating kids about this pandemic, and does it in a spirited, hopeful, lovely way with the addition of brilliant pictures that kids will be entertained by.
Here, we meet Bop-It and his pals. Bop-It is a fluffy, grey bunny who is absolutely adorable; he loves his friends; he loves his life, and all the bunnies enjoy living in Old Mr. Pilsbury’s back lot. One day, Bop-It’s Mom tells him and his sibling that there is a terrible flu going around and that they will have to stay in their holes and wear blue masks all the time because of how sick everyone is getting. They are completely confused because their enjoyment and daily life has to basically stop in its tracks because of this strange disease that is being spread all across the world. Bop-It misses his buddies a great deal. The only thing he can really do is stay at the top of his own family’s bunny hole and peek out, hoping to see one of his friends doing the same thing.
At least they can shake ears at each other, if nothing else. Although Bop-It can’t stand this new life, he and his friend Cracker learn how to play games away from each other, like seeing how far they can jump over their own holes; sometimes they even do somersaults and end up falling into the holes and bopping their own heads, which isn’t all that fun. He even hears that one of his friends, Lolli, is ill with this nasty disease and tries hard not to listen.
After a long time, one day Mr. Pilsbury runs out the back of his house and across the field; he’s very happy when he tells everyone that soon the masks can come off and they can once again play with their friends and get back to living life the fun way. It was a fantastic day when that all occurred just a short time after the announcement. Everyone got their entertainment back; they could go back in the woods with their friends and play hide-and-seek; they could go back to school; and those blue masks could be kicked aside. Bop-It and Cracker had gotten through a very lonely time, but their fun days did return and COVID-19 was no longer the top subject on everyone’s minds.
This bunny tale—from the characters to the plot to the emotions this author/illustrator expertly showed in both words and her illustrations—will appeal to all children. Adults are desperate for help through this, which means children are even more confused by the whole thing. I commend Jessica J. Wohlgemuth for taking on the chore of creating a story that explains, educates, inspires, and shows ALL ages that this pandemic can be ‘kicked’ and we can resume happy lives. I definitely recommend this book to all parents who are looking for a way to help both themselves and their children through this very trying time. “5-Stars!”