Learning to Live with Fog Monsters

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Learning to Live with

Fog Monsters

Co-produced by Luci Gorell Barnes, Verity Jones, Lindsey McEwen and Amanda Webber. Illustrations by Luci Gorell Barnes. 1


This story book, its concept and storyline were co-produced by Luci Gorell Barnes, Verity Jones*, Lindsey McEwen* and Amanda Webber* with contributions from Sara Williams*, Toity Deave*, Laura Hobbs*, Deepak Gopinath* and Laura Fogg-Rogers* (*University of the West of England, Bristol) as part of the Voices in a Pandemic – Children’s Lockdown Experiences Applied to Recovery (VIP-CLEAR) project. The illustrations were produced by Luci Gorell Barnes as an integral part of that process. Development of the accompanying teacher’s notes was led by Verity Jones. The right of Luci Gorell Barnes, Verity Jones, Lindsey McEwen and Amanda Webber (authors) and Luci Gorell Barnes (illustrator) to be identified as authors and illustrator, respectively, of this work has been asserted by them in accordance with the copyright, designs and patent act 1988. The book is available as an e-book at: vip-clear.org ISBN: 9781860436079

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Learning to Live with

Fog Monsters Illustrations by Luci Gorell Barnes

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The story and commentary The story begins with a siren, warning about a risk that you cannot see or hear, but that changes everything – the Fog Monsters. It follows Layla and Arlo as they adjust to this huge upheaval in their lives and discover ways to cope, adapt and find hope.

What the young people say: “I really liked it because they’re doing something hopeful and not giving up.” “I found it intriguing and want to know more.”

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Acknowledgements This book was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation. It was part of a large group of projects funded to look at the impact of COVID-19 on law, culture, society, health, and the arts, under the umbrella project ‘Pandemic and Beyond’. The book and its storyline were underpinned by research from the VIP-CLEAR project (University of the West of England, Bristol) on understanding children’s experiences of the pandemic, and in particular, lockdowns. The book development was led by the VIP-CLEAR project with additional input and feedback from project partners and the Special Advisory Board. Specific feedback was also provided by the project’s partner schools, Carrie Derrick, Nat Brown, Katie Owen, Dr Will Shield and Dr Jane Carter. Responsibility for the final content lies with the authors.

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Summary This book has been created to help young people, parents, carers, and teachers talk about unseen, uncertain, and intangible threats that affect different people in different ways. It was inspired by research with children about their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it can be used more widely to stimulate conversations around possible future social shocks, such as climate change. Drawing on children’s voices from schools in Bristol, it has been created to emphasise diversity of experiences, factors that can help health and well-being, and to support children to cope, adapt and have their voices heard. It is hoped that it will also promote a culture of adults listening to children’s voices in times of stress and upheaval. The book is accompanied by a set of teacher’s notes with further information and ideas for classroom activities.

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The arrival of the Fog Monsters has changed Layla and Arlo’s world. No one can see them – but they know they are there. They don’t know when they will come, or how long they will stay, but the swirling fog warns everyone to stay at home. Find out how the children, with the help of their family, community, and each other, learn, adapt, make things feel better, and find hope.

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