Maddie and the Virus | Dedicated Review

Book Review of Maddie and the Virus: A Young Girl Navigates Life During A Pandemic
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The Children’s Book Review

Maddie and the Virus

Written by Gretchen Susan Romanowski

Illustrated by Mike Rosado

Ages 6-10 | 60 Pages

Publisher: Lulu Press | ISBN-13: 978-1667156620

What to Expect: Facing Adversity, Caring, Dancing, Creativity

Maddie and the Virus deals with the past year and our response to the coronavirus. In this story, readers meet Maddie, an 8-year-old girl that finds creative ways to navigate life during the pandemic.

The author does a wonderful job highlighting the frustrations Maddie feels, from technology woes to tricky homework and the boredom of being trapped at home. Maddie shows readers that it is okay to be scared or grumpy, but instead of focusing on negative emotions, she uses creativity and physical activities to combat hopelessness and anxiety. In addition to the coping techniques provided, the author also touches on many common themes seen during the pandemic, such as online learning, working from home, hand washing and social distancing, personal protective equipment, and the hope that a vaccine would be developed to help people stay safe.

 Along with the story, Mike Rosado provides clear and colorful illustrations that highlight Maddie’s thoughts and actions. This is especially helpful to show how dance and movement, and technology can be used to communicate and remain connected with family and friends. At the back of the book, the author has kindly included a glossary explaining some common pandemic terms using age-appropriate language and providing more information on the dance techniques mentioned in the story. Also offered are 12 “What Do You Think” questions that will encourage children and adults to discuss and reflect upon the story.

Maddie and the Virus is an incredibly relatable picture book for both children and adults.

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Gretchen Susan Romanowski Author Headshot

About the Author

Gretchen Susan Romanowski is a semi-retired dance educator who has enjoyed a wonderful career as a performer, teacher, choreographer, and director.  She has been a dance teaching artist in public and private schools, universities, community programs, and art academies.  She has choreographed for the musical theatre and concert stage.  Gretchen earned a Doctorate in Dance Education at Temple University and wrote her dissertation on “Dancing Wheels,” a contemporary dance company and school comprised of dancers with and without disabilities.  Gretchen lives in Cary, NC, and enjoys sharing her love of storytelling and dance with her great-and-grandchildren.

For more information, visit

Mike Rosado Illustrator Headshot

About the Illustrator

Mike Rosado is an illustrator, musician, and owner of MRC, a branding company in the heart of downtown Raleigh.  His love of drawing started at an early age and, throughout the years, has been incorporated into much of his work.  He’s also the host of The Pencil Pushers Podcast, where he focuses on the love of the hand-drawn arts, inviting top-level artists from a myriad of different industries.  Mike lives in Raleigh, NC with his partner Leah, stepdaughter Mila, and pet-daughter pup, Winnie.

For more information, visit and

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August 13, 2021 at 01:44AM Bianca Schulze