'A New Day': Sydney dad releases children's book to bring joy amid COVID-19

Photo: Alex Ryvchin and his three daughters. Supplied.
Photo: Alex Ryvchin and his three daughters. Supplied. 

Sydney dad Alex Ryvchin normally spends his time penning political speeches and publications. 

But when the author and father-of-three saw the widespread anxiety and fear children were feeling amid the global pandemic, he decided to turn his writing skills to a different platform.

He recalls the moment his parents turned up to the family home after a week of lockdown, desperate to see the their grandkids, but had to remain in their car in the driveway. 

"The girls were overcome with confusion and sadness, not quite comprehending why they couldn't hug their own grandparents," he tells Essential Baby

"And I could see how it crushed my parents which only made the girls sob all the more. I wanted to make my children happy again and to reassure them that this period will soon pass." 

Immediately afterwards, Ryyvchin set to work on a children's book, he titled "A New Day", with the aim of helping kids through this "challenging time."

Dedicated to Alex's three daughters, Lilah, Elly and Maya, the story follows the journey of a family of five (plus their dog Hamilton) whose lives are "turned upside down' by Coronavirus - and includes a diary section at the back.

"I wanted to explain to children going through dislocation, anxiety, boredom and stress, that these days will pass, their adventures will resume, their school-friends await," he says. "But in the meantime, to pause and appreciate what they have and to find joy in every day and life's simple pleasures." 

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The book, which has been translated into Spanish and Italian, has already been warmly received. 

"Already I'm receiving photos of children reading the book from Michigan to Manchester, far-north Queensland to Paris, and am hearing how it is bringing parents to tears all around the world," says Ryvchin.

"I've also had countless messages telling me how the kids love filling in the diary sections at the back and parents love that they will have this record of their childrens feelings and thoughts from a truly extraordinary time in human history."

Ryvchin hope this book well help kids and parents alike to remember what is trivial and what really counts. 

"A walk in the park, exercise, social contact, family, health. We are reminded to be grateful and not to take anything for granted." 

He adds: "Be strong, be resilient, be hopeful, no matter how great the adversity. And always choose to be happy by finding joy in life's simple pleasures."

'A New Day' is available from Book Depository with 10% of profits donated to the Smith Family to help vulnerable children and families affected by the crisis.