EMSB graduate authors a book for children dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic

Montreal - Tuesday, June 16, 2020

English Montreal School Board graduate Lara Villani has co-written a book with her cousin, Cristina Rosato, dealing with how children are dealing with their feelings and emotions during this  COVID-19 pandemic.

Lara Villani  and Luna.
Lara Villani and Luna.

The book can be downloaded free of charge at  Lara was inspired to write the book by her two year old daughter Luna. It is a story that will help open the conversation about the pandemic, validate your child's emotions, and make them feel that they are, “A Hero Too.” This project will benefit the organization Save the Children. As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, children’s lives are being turned upside down. More than 1 billion children are now out of school and child poverty is rising. Every donation to, Save the Children Canada (, will go towards their global COVID-19 appeal, which will help children and families who’ve been hardest hit by the crisis. 

Lara attended the EMSB’s St. Dorothy Elementary School in St. Michel and Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North. Her father Sebastien Villani has been teaching at Laurier Macdonald High School in St. Léonard for 47 years. Co-author Cristina Rosato is a Canadian actress currently living in British Columbia. She grew up in New Bordeaux and TMR. Leanne Thiessen of Winnipeg is responsible for the beautiful illustrations. 

“I’ve always played around with children story writing in the past,” Lara explained. “In the midst of the sudden stay at home order and within all the confusion of the pandemic the one thing that was breaking me was that my daughter couldn’t see her cousin. My sister lives across the street and her little three year old son and my daughter would talk to each other through the window of my living room. While talking with my cousin one day about the crisis we came up with an idea to write a book for kids about the importance of social distancing. We wanted to help offer kids comfort and give parents a story to open a conversation about the pandemic. We knew we wanted to do more than just offer a free book and saw it as a great opportunity to join an initiative to raise money for kids in need  with Save the Children.”

Cristina Rosato
Cristina Rosato

When the stay at home orders were being put into place Cristina, a Canadian actress,  was forced to re-enter Canada from Argentina, where she was filming a movie. We took comfort in sharing our concerns and supporting each other during this time that our lives and routines suddenly came to a halt. We decided to write this story together and it became a mission of ours to help children navigate their 'big feelings' in this time of crisis. The project also became a way for us to connect and to use our time to create something hopeful in a time of such uncertainty. 

The book is available in English and French.

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