Saturday, April 24, 2021

And The People Stayed Home - a bookwrap



"And the People Stayed Home"
Created by City O'Meara
Co-Illustrated by Stefano Di Cristofaro and 
Paul Pereda 


* Ages:  4-8 / and all ages

* Hardcover:  32 pages

* Publisher:  Tra Publishing

* Pub. Date:  November 10, 2020

* Language:  English 

Editorial Reviews

“Kitty has managed to take such a complex historic moment and craft an eloquent, heartwarming reflection that will resonate with generations to come. In a time when we all need to believe something good can come out of something so devastating, Kitty’s words give us pause and hope. Combined with the warm illustrations depicting life, this book offers the reader encouragement for a brighter tomorrow.”

—Kate Winslet, Academy Award-winning actress

“Kitty O'Meara is the poet laureate of the pandemic…The poem has become shorthand for a silver-linings perspective during the coronavirus outbreak—the hope that something good can come out of this collective state of ‘together, apart.’ ” 

— O, The Oprah Magazine

Images of nature healing show the author’s vision of hope for the future…The accessible prose and beautiful images make this a natural selection for young readers, but older ones may appreciate the work’s deeper meaning.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“It captured the kind of optimism people need right now.”

— Esquire (UK)

“It’s obvious why this meditative poem has resonated so deeply with people: It inserts the idea of individual agency back into something out of our control, and imagines that the time after this will not only exist—it’ll be better than before.”

— Book Riot

A stunning and peaceful offering of introspection and hope.”

—The Children’s Book Review

The Book

"Kitty O’Meara’s prose poem about the coronavirus pandemic and its profound message to look within ourselves to effect healing for people and the planet has struck a chord globally. Originally posted to the author’s private Facebook page on Friday, March 13, 2020, it quickly became a viral phenomenon.

The piece has been so widely shared through social media, news media, and by influencers such as Deepak Chopra and Bella Hadid that O’Meara, a former teacher and chaplain, has been called “the poet laureate of the pandemic.”

For O’Meara, one of the best outcomes of the poem has been the domino effect it has had in terms of catalyzing the creation of scores of new works of art, including short films, songs, music videos, spoken word videos, dances, compositions, and more.  Among the many highlights are a music solo created by composer John Corigliano that was premiered by RenΓ©e Fleming in the online event We Are Here: A Celebration of Resilience, Resistance, and Hope, and a performance of an original composition based on the poem by the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus.   

"The response has been overwhelmingly positive and humbling," O'Meara says. "There have been so many astonishing, touching, and global connections made because of the vision this poem presents and affirms." 

The 32-page book is illustrated by award-winning illustrator Stefano Di Cristofaro and art directed by Jefferson Quintana of Ilona Creative Studio. In addition to the hardcover version, Tra Publishing is partnering with Vooks to create a read-along, animated version of the book that will be available as part of Vooks’s streaming library of animated storybooks for kids. Tra is also producing an e-book version of the title."

My Take

This original poem, and now a children's book, is one that connects the hearts of people worldwide. In a time of uncertainty and fear it brings peace and hope.  It is timely and relevant to everyone who is in lockdown mode and although that is a terrible constrictive thing, inside homes people are bonding, spending quality time together and still  able to dream and create.  Oprah Winfrey deemed O'Meara "the poet laureate of the pandemic" and I heartily agree.  Please check out the book's website that includes a teacher's guide and the author explaining the backstory of how she was inspired to pen the poem.  I highly recommend this book. 

Storywraps Rating - 5 HUGS! 


Kitty O’Meara


Kitty O’Meara lives in Full Moon Cottage, near Madison, Wisconsin on a river and a bike trail, with her husband, Phillip Hagedorn, their five dogs, three cats, gardens, and books. A former teacher and chaplain and a spiritual director, O’Meara has been a lifelong writer and artist. And the People Stayed Home is her first print book.

Stefano Di Cristofaro


Stefano Di Cristofaro is an illustrator and designer whose works have been widely exhibited. Raised in Venezuela and Italy, he currently lives and works in Mexico City. He has previously illustrated the children’s books Conejo y Conejo, Guachipira va de viaje, and La Sayona y otros cuentos de espantos. His family says that when he was little, he only stayed still if he was given a pencil and a piece of paper.

Paul Pereda


Paul Pereda is an illustrator who has primarily worked in video game development and trading card games with clients such as Disney, Nickelodeon, Atari, and MTV. Born in Venezuela, he now lives in Madrid. He has been passionate about drawing since he was a child; his mother carried drawing supplies everywhere they went to keep him busy and calm.

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It's a wrap! 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!  Please join me again next week here on Storywraps.   Thank you for visiting my blog.  Everyone is welcome and I look forward to reviewing more great books for you to share with your little ones.  Smile and please take care and be safe.  


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