Liverpool entrepreneur Natalie Reeves Billing says Ben and the Bug will help children returning to school and parents returning to work ease their anxieties around COVID-19. Tony McDonough reports
A Liverpool entrepreneur, author and mum of two young children is set to launch her latest book aimed at easing the anxieties many families are facing in September as children return to school.
Natalie Reeves Billing believes Ben and the Bug is being published at a perfect time when the world is still confused as to how business and school life can return to normal in the midst of COVID-19.
In May, Toxteth-born Natalie saw her debut children’s book published this week. Called My Mummy Is A Monster, it is the first in her Monstrous Me collection. The books have a a back-to-back parent and child version format.
On her new book, Natalie said: “With so many company owners and families experiencing anxiety, I decided to create a heartfelt book that I hope can make a real difference. It aims to change the face of coronavirus for little ones by presenting the story through a bug’s eyes, looking at life through the lens of a virus.
“The book provides ‘fact’ boxes unlocking the facts and stats around the virus, giving businesses and families information they need to know, but without fear-mongering.
“I know as a businesswoman and mum of two that children are less fearful of things they understand. Sometimes, allowing them to make up their own minds creates more problems. An honest space where adults can talk about these issues is much better than kids guessing at why the world has changed.”
The book includes some important career themes including powerful female role models, men in a leading role in child-rearing, and doctors finding vaccines and becoming our modern-day celebrities and superheroes.
The pandemic has changed the way we view the word ‘heroic’ and acknowledges the efforts of our frontline workers,” added Natalie.
Reviews of Ben and the Bug have called for it to be available as a resource in ‘back to school’ classrooms. Natalie said: “We’ve just had some bulk orders from SMEs, corporate businesses and community centres across the region and we’ve purposely created a book with a low-price tag to make it affordable for all.”
Jacqueline Daley, senior business advisor at Liverpool-based The Women’s Organisation, which has give support to Natalie, added: “The book establishes a calm and rational way to think and talk about the details of this sudden and unprecedented worldwide event within our lifetime.”