Halton teacher's book to help pupils understand Covid-19 pandemic now downloaded in 104 countries

A book written by primary school teacher Mike Forde has now been downloaded almost 100,000 times in 104 countries.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Thursday, 14th May 2020, 3:45 pm
Mike Forde.
Mike Forde.

Mr Forde, who lives in Halton, put together a book to help children at Ingleton Primary School, where he is a Year 3/4 teacher, to understand the school shutdown.

And it has now been downloaded 95,000 times in 104 different countries.

It has also been translated into Spanish and Italian with German, Dutch, British Sign Language, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese and Scots on the way.

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The book is called "How to NOT go to School" and it follows the whimsical daily adventures of Parsley Mimblewood, who doesn't go to school. In fact, Parsley's never been to school.

Instead, she spends her days looking after her one imaginary guinea-pig, two real guinea-pigs and three goats while solving mysteries with the (imaginary) Detective Dracula and writing books explaining how to not go to school.

Each chapter explores an issue that might be weighing on children’s minds at the moment such as dealing with emotions, missing friends and feeling cooped up.

At the end of each chapter, there are prompts and questions to support you to discuss these issues as a family.

And due to its popularity, Mike, 28, set up a website so that the book is available for free.

"I initially shared it as a Kindle book with the class and since last Friday it has been downloaded hundreds of times and shared by teachers with their students in various schools across the country," he said.

"I’m overwhelmed and humbled to see how far this little book has gone. I wanted to give the 28 children in my class a fun story that would help them come to terms with this huge upheaval and now thousands of families are reading about Parsley Mimblewood and her adventures.

"I’m so grateful to all the people who have read, shared and helped make this happen.”

Another teacher has also created a Parsley Mimblewood SATs reading paper to help her children come to terms with missing the "rite of passage" of SATs.