This page is for parents, teachers, childcare providers, and anyone involved in the care or education of young children. Mookie is inviting children to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Just like Mookie, Matthew, and Katelyn, the lives of children around the world have been changed in infinite ways. The questions that follow are meant to encourage reflection and conversation. They go along with the story and range from simple and funny to more in-depth sensitive issues. Research shows that giving voice to challenging life experiences supports resiliency and healing, and can identify important areas of need. Within a group setting in particular, this is a story that encourages good listening skills, sharing, and empathy, all important skills for building emotional intelligence.
In the words of Mister Rogers: "Anything that's human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting and less scary."
So, Let’s talk!
(1) Mookie is a real dog. You can see his picture in the book. He is a five-year-old Cavachon. He lives with his favorite humans, Matthew and Katelyn. Humans are people.
Who do you live with? Do you have any pets? What are their names? If you don’t have a pet but could pick one, what pet would you pick?
(2) Mookie doesn’t know who Rona is yet. He doesn't know that Rona is really the Coronavirus. Everyone in his house calls the Coronavirus, “Rona.”
Have you heard of the Coronavirus? What have you heard about the Coronavirus?
(3) Mookie is happy having more people home everyday and doing special things for him. Who is home with you? Is anyone doing special things for you?
(4) Mookie’s life was different before Rona arrived.
Was your life different before the Coronavirus? How was it different?
(5) With everyone home now, it’s a lot noisier at Mookie’s house.
What’s happening at your house?
(6) Everyone is cooking at Mookie’s house.
Have you been doing any cooking? Do you have any favorite foods? Are there foods you miss having since Rona arrived?
(7) Mookie sees people wearing masks, keeping far away from other people, and washing their hands many times a day.
Why do you think people are doing these things? Do you do these things when you go out?
(8) For fun Mookie plays with his toys, he plays outside, and he watches TV.
Can you play outside? What do you do for fun?
(9) Mookie has noticed that his family doesn't get dressed up like they used to for school or work.
Do you get dressed every day? Do you ever have a pajama day?
(10) Since Mookie can’t go to the dog spa now, his hair has gotten very long and shaggy. He’s quite a mess!
How’s your hair?
(11) Mookie has to have his bath in the kitchen sink now. As soon as he’s out of his bath he gets the “Zoomies”.
What do you think of Mookie’s “Zoomies” behavior? Do you ever get silly after a bath?
(12) After his bath, Mookie gets lots of snarls in his hair. Mookie has trained his humans to give him treats so he’ll sit still while they comb out his snarls. He’s a smart dog!
Do you ever get snarls in your hair? Who helps you with your hair?
(13) Mookie misses his friends. He’s feeling lonely and cranky.
Do you ever feel lonely or cranky? Do you get to see your friends?
(14) Since Mookie can’t play with his friends, he’s playing more with his stuffed animals.
Do you have any special toys or stuffed animals?
(15) Mookie has been doing a lot of thinking. He now understands that Rona - the Coronavirus - makes people very sick. He’s sad about that.
Do you know anyone who is sad about the Coronavirus? Can you think of ways we could help them?
(16) Mookie knows that even though Rona has caused many problems, he is still a lucky dog. He is thankful for the life he has. There are a lot of things Mookie will remember about this time with Rona.
What will you remember?