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Mom recreates children's classics to explain COVID-19 pandemic to kids

Posted at 9:05 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 21:05:02-04

NEW YORK — Moms are accustomed to wearing plenty of hats, but for one Manhattan mom, the pandemic has added one more, and it's gaining some online attention.

Stefanie Trilling has unintentionally become a children's illustrator of sorts. Cleverly playing with popular children's book covers, Trilling has taken the current pandemic and recreated the artwork with puns.

Cloudy With a Chance of Panic Hoarding, Mask and Gloves for Frances, Llama Llama Hasn’t Changed Pajamas and Green Eggs and Wash Your Hands are just some of Trilling's work.

A lawyer by trade — with no artistic training whatsoever — Trilling said her hobby became a way to pass time, but also a way to explain the pandemic to her small children.

"My daughter had been talking a lot about what coronavirus meant to her and her life that she knew at that time. I wanted to make it less scary and a way she could talk about her fears," explained Trilling.

Living in the vicinity of several major hospitals, Trilling recalled how in the first few weeks in quarantine, her family heard sirens all day long. The experience was anxiety inducing for everyone, but in particular for her kids.

"It was really distressing because we knew inside every one of those ambulances was someone who was very, very ill," said Trilling.

Painting offered her family a distraction, so every night, Trilling sat down and began painting. First with her 5-year-old's water colors, and eventually with her own supplies. Trilling first posted her work to her Facebook page and then to Instagram, where the number of followers are growing every day. Aside from giving people pure joy, she does hope to publish her work one day.

As for immediate next steps? Trilling is working to partner with a non profit organization to sell her illustrations and offer all proceeds to the charity.