Outside, Inside

Outside, Inside cover
Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham

by LeUyen Pham
Roaring Brook, 2021
40 pages

Ages 3-7

A gently reassuring narrative explores the hardships and triumphs of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown without directly naming the virus. “Something strange happened on an unremarkable day…” A diverse neighborhood street, once filled with pedestrians, bikers, shoppers, and vehicles, becomes silent and empty. “Everybody who was outside… went inside. / Everyone. Everywhere. All over the world.” Detailed illustrations offer a realistic window into people’s lives as they adjust to the sudden change. Family members conduct their daily lives in small, shared spaces. Hospital scenes show essential workers caring for, and sometimes losing, patients. Despite challenges, worry, and grief, people are creative and resilient. Birthday parties become drive-by events. Encouraging signs pop up next to empty playgrounds. “Outside, the world kept growing. / Inside, we kept growing too.” Ending on a hopeful note, the narrative reminds readers that the world sheltered in place because it was “the right thing to do.” ©2021 Cooperative Children’s Book Center