Sesame Street Releases ‘Heroes Wear Masks’ Picture Book to ‘Calm School Anxiety’

Screenshot/CBS News
Screenshot/CBS News

The iconic children’s program Sesame Street has produced a picture book, Heroes Wear Masks: Elmo’s Super Adventure, aimed at “helping children calm school anxiety and understand new and different routines they may experience” in the coronavirus era.

Published by Sesame Workshop and its publishing partner SourcebooksHeroes Wear Masks, which will be released next week for $9.89, aims to help “calm school anxiety” as children return to school amid the ongoing pandemic. “Today is going to be a SUPER day! Elmo is heading to school, and he wants to be a school superhero!” the description reads. “Young children will join Elmo as he gets ready like a hero and learns about wearing masks and washing hands.”

Watch below:

“With the help of Elmo and his mommy, this all new story from world-renowned education brand Sesame Workshop will help children calm school anxiety and understand new and different routines they may experience, such as wearing a kids face mask, anxiety about leaving home, washing hands frequently, social distancing, not being able to give hugs or high-fives to friends, taggered schedules, why some friends may not be at school, temperature checks, and new classroom seating arrangements,” the book’s description reads.

Evidence surrounding the preventative effect of wearing a face mask remains a subject of debate. However, the book’s authors based their book on whenever children are required to wear one.

“Heroes Wear Masks is a sweet and educational mask book for kids that reminds readers it’s super to help everyone stay healthy and safe,” the book’s author’s note. “It’s the perfect pandemic book with tools to discuss important topics as kids go back to school, preschool, daycare, or out in any public setting where they’d need a face mask.”

Sesame Street, which first aired in 1969, has launched a series of videos about healthy hygiene aimed at children since the country began to grapple with the coronavirus. The long running children program has also turned increasingly political in recent years. Earlier this year, the show embraced the Black Lives Matter riots and and featured Big Bird and Elmo teaching children about racism in America.

In 2016, producers introduced a hijab-wearing feminist Afghani Muppet named Zari. The new character sought to teach children about “girl empowerment, social and emotional wellbeing.”

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