This Mom Turned Kids' Books Covers into Coronavirus Scenes and They Are Incredible

Stefanie Trilling gave some of our favorite children's books a facelift during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are the best of her 100+ hilarious covers, shared on social media by parents worldwide.

The greatest creative ideas can strike at the weirdest times. For one New York City-based mom of two, the COVID-19 pandemic inspired an artistic breakthrough that gained her legions of fans. Her work now stands as a unique archive of the difficulties we've all faced during the past few challenging years.

Initially, Stefanie Trilling (a self-described 'media parodist') was just trying to keep her kids entertained while the family socially distanced at home in 2020. While they all enjoyed painting sessions together, she felt pulled to do something artistic that marked how different their lives had suddenly become.

The result, Children's Books for Pandemics, immediately went viral. Tweaking beloved tomes with new takes on everything from Corduroy (Coronaroy) to Where the Sidewalk Ends (When the Self-Isolation Ends), they hit a chord with stressed-out parents everywhere, who related to their dissonant themes.

coronavirus book covers
Courtesy Stefanie Trilling

"I started painting the first thing I saw, the cover of one of the books we had read earlier in the day," remembers Trilling, whose kids were then 2 and 5. "One thing led to another, and I thought it would help make coronavirus a little less scary if I incorporated it as a cartoon into my painting."

At the height of the pandemic, Trilling worked full-time from home while looking after her kids and creating new pieces of art. The support she received from other parents was incredible, she recalls.

"I started posting these paintings online to entertain my friends and create a bright spot in a really dark time," Trilling says of her imaginative twists on old books (like Llama Llama Hasn't Changed His Pajamas). 'Having the opportunity to bring joy to millions of people gave me a true feeling of purpose."

Trilling's Instagram site for her artwork captures a more modest pandemic goal: "Making the best of a collectively bad situation." After some 120 works posted online, the busy mom appears to have taken a break, but she's said she wants to make the art available for prints and donate a portion of any profits to at-risk children impacted by COVID-related school closures. She also hopes to turn her collection into a book that shows how social distancing "fostered a unique collective empathy."

Here are a few of Trilling's greatest hits.

1. Everybody Poops

The kid-lit favorite meets grocery hoarders in Everybody Poops (Not Everyone Has Toilet Paper).

2. The Berenstain Bears

The furry family struggles (and mama drinks!) in The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Time Home.

3. Oh, the Places You'll Go

Dr. Fauci replaces Seuss in the sad non-travelogue, Oh, the Places You Won't Go.

4. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

We were all Alexander in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad 2020.

5. The Lorax

This 1971 fable became The Clorox. It did not speak for the trees.

6. Hats For Sale

Sneaky monkeys encounter germs and pandemic-era prices in Masks For Sale.

7. Goodnight Moon

What overworked parent cannot relate to the subtle horrors of Goodnight Zoom?

For Trilling, one of the most gratifying aspects of the Children's Books project was seeing her 5-year-old Shira get inspired, too. "Having a project over which my daughter and I can bond has been so special," she told Parents in 2020. "I know she misses the 'before times'—school, gymnastics class, in-person chess tournaments—but building something new with her and watching her creativity spark in the most brilliant ways demonstrates a resilience that makes me so proud."

Shira even made her own version of a childhood classic, hilariously titled Chicka Chicka Go Home.

coronavirus book covers
Courtesy Stefanie Trilling
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