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And the People Stayed Home

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“Kitty O’Meara…offers us wisdom that can help during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. She is challenging us to grow."—Deepak Chopra, MD, author, Metahuman “Kitty O'Meara is the poet laureate of the pandemic"—O, The Oprah Magazine "An eloquent, heartwarming reflection that will resonate with generations to come… encouragement for a brighter tomorrow."—Kate Winslet "And “Kitty O’Meara…offers us wisdom that can help during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. She is challenging us to grow."—Deepak Chopra, MD, author, Metahuman “Kitty O'Meara is the poet laureate of the pandemic"—O, The Oprah Magazine "An eloquent, heartwarming reflection that will resonate with generations to come… encouragement for a brighter tomorrow."—Kate Winslet "And the People Stayed Home is an uplifting perspective on the resilience of the human spirit and the healing potential we have to change our world for the better." ––Shelf Awareness “Images of nature healing show the author’s vision of hope for the future…The accessible prose and beautiful images make this a natural selection for young readers, but older ones may appreciate the work’s deeper meaning.”— Kirkus Reviews “This is a perfectly illustrated version of a poem that continues to be relevant.”—School Library Journal “A stunning and peaceful offering of introspection and hope.”—The Children’s Book Review Ten Best Children’s Books of 2020: "A calming, optimistic read, and a salve for children trying their best to navigate this time." — Smithsonian Magazine “It captured the kind of optimism people need right now.”—Esquire (UK) "A communal beacon of hope." ––Washington Post “Thank you, Kitty O'Meara…for pointing out that at this very moment, this very day, we can seize the opportunity to restore wholeness to our world."—Sy Montgomery, bestselling author of The Good Good Pig and The Soul of an Octopus “A poem by American writer Kitty O’Meara has deservedly gone viral.”—Edinburgh Evening News And the People Stayed Home is a beautifully produced picture book featuring Kitty O’Meara’s popular, globally viral prose poem about the coronavirus pandemic, which has a hopeful and timeless message.   Kitty O’Meara, author of And the People Stayed Home, has been called the “poet laureate of the pandemic.” This illustrated children’s book (ages 4-8) will also appeal to readers of all ages. O’Meara’s thoughtful poem about the pandemic, quarantine, and the future suggests there is meaning to be found in our shared experience of the coronavirus and conveys an optimistic message about the possibility of profound healing for people and the planet.  Her words encourage us to look within, listen deeply, and connect with ourselves and the earth in order to heal.  O’Meara, a former teacher and chaplain and a spiritual director, clearly captures important aspects of the pandemic experience. Her words, written in March 2020 and shared on Facebook, immediately resonated nationally and internationally and were widely circulated on social media, covered in mainstream news media, and inspired an outpouring of creativity from musicians, dancers, artists, filmmakers, and more. The many highlights include an original composition by John Corigliano that was premiered by Renée Fleming.  


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“Kitty O’Meara…offers us wisdom that can help during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. She is challenging us to grow."—Deepak Chopra, MD, author, Metahuman “Kitty O'Meara is the poet laureate of the pandemic"—O, The Oprah Magazine "An eloquent, heartwarming reflection that will resonate with generations to come… encouragement for a brighter tomorrow."—Kate Winslet "And “Kitty O’Meara…offers us wisdom that can help during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. She is challenging us to grow."—Deepak Chopra, MD, author, Metahuman “Kitty O'Meara is the poet laureate of the pandemic"—O, The Oprah Magazine "An eloquent, heartwarming reflection that will resonate with generations to come… encouragement for a brighter tomorrow."—Kate Winslet "And the People Stayed Home is an uplifting perspective on the resilience of the human spirit and the healing potential we have to change our world for the better." ––Shelf Awareness “Images of nature healing show the author’s vision of hope for the future…The accessible prose and beautiful images make this a natural selection for young readers, but older ones may appreciate the work’s deeper meaning.”— Kirkus Reviews “This is a perfectly illustrated version of a poem that continues to be relevant.”—School Library Journal “A stunning and peaceful offering of introspection and hope.”—The Children’s Book Review Ten Best Children’s Books of 2020: "A calming, optimistic read, and a salve for children trying their best to navigate this time." — Smithsonian Magazine “It captured the kind of optimism people need right now.”—Esquire (UK) "A communal beacon of hope." ––Washington Post “Thank you, Kitty O'Meara…for pointing out that at this very moment, this very day, we can seize the opportunity to restore wholeness to our world."—Sy Montgomery, bestselling author of The Good Good Pig and The Soul of an Octopus “A poem by American writer Kitty O’Meara has deservedly gone viral.”—Edinburgh Evening News And the People Stayed Home is a beautifully produced picture book featuring Kitty O’Meara’s popular, globally viral prose poem about the coronavirus pandemic, which has a hopeful and timeless message.   Kitty O’Meara, author of And the People Stayed Home, has been called the “poet laureate of the pandemic.” This illustrated children’s book (ages 4-8) will also appeal to readers of all ages. O’Meara’s thoughtful poem about the pandemic, quarantine, and the future suggests there is meaning to be found in our shared experience of the coronavirus and conveys an optimistic message about the possibility of profound healing for people and the planet.  Her words encourage us to look within, listen deeply, and connect with ourselves and the earth in order to heal.  O’Meara, a former teacher and chaplain and a spiritual director, clearly captures important aspects of the pandemic experience. Her words, written in March 2020 and shared on Facebook, immediately resonated nationally and internationally and were widely circulated on social media, covered in mainstream news media, and inspired an outpouring of creativity from musicians, dancers, artists, filmmakers, and more. The many highlights include an original composition by John Corigliano that was premiered by Renée Fleming.  

30 review for And the People Stayed Home

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bek MoonyReadsByStarlight

    While it is more optimistic than I am, it's good for kids, giving them hope and centering nature in an important way. Short, simple with cute art. The version I read had thick pages which are good for withstanding the smaller readers! While it is more optimistic than I am, it's good for kids, giving them hope and centering nature in an important way. Short, simple with cute art. The version I read had thick pages which are good for withstanding the smaller readers!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Burnett

    Every once in a blue moon, a book, poem, or movie catches and transcends a universal shared experience. This gorgeous, illustrated, heartfelt children’s book has already emerged as our collective tale of what we’ve shared and learned and even been inspired by during the fearsome coronavirus’ pandemic. This haunting poem, written by Kitty O’Meara, an unknown chaplain and spiritual director who is already being called “The Poet Laureate of the Pandemic” (Oprah Magazine), first caught the public ima Every once in a blue moon, a book, poem, or movie catches and transcends a universal shared experience. This gorgeous, illustrated, heartfelt children’s book has already emerged as our collective tale of what we’ve shared and learned and even been inspired by during the fearsome coronavirus’ pandemic. This haunting poem, written by Kitty O’Meara, an unknown chaplain and spiritual director who is already being called “The Poet Laureate of the Pandemic” (Oprah Magazine), first caught the public imagination on social media. Over 1 million people shared it and still do! The illustrations are beautiful ---soft and warm and will appeal to a diverse audience. With so many of us at home, this book opens the door to deep, meaningful conversations about what's happening right now (with shelter in place and the virus) with our kids.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I hope the beautiful message in this book is true after this pandemic is over.

  4. 5 out of 5

    BookTrib.com

    It’s no surprise that her words caught the attention of millions. Hope swells in your chest as you read them. They’re inspiring, empowering even. She has given the world a small piece of joy — painted a silver lining onto a dark cloud and transformed uncertainty into possibility. Read our full review here: https://booktrib.com/2020/11/10/kitty... It’s no surprise that her words caught the attention of millions. Hope swells in your chest as you read them. They’re inspiring, empowering even. She has given the world a small piece of joy — painted a silver lining onto a dark cloud and transformed uncertainty into possibility. Read our full review here: https://booktrib.com/2020/11/10/kitty...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kate Johnson

    So beautiful, I absolutely loved it, I’m going to buy copies for my nephews!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emily Orton

    This book is great as it talks about the times we are in right now. I would read this to my students to teach about this time period we are in right now.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mutually Inclusive

    Kitty O'Meara originally published this wonderful poem on her blog back in March during the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic. The hopeful message of the poem struck a chord with readers across the world, and her poem went viral. I am so pleased this poem made it's way to this amazing children's book accompanied by beautiful illustrations from Stefano Di Cristofaro and Paul Pereda. This book was so special to me, in ways I’m not sure I can fully articulate. I gave birth to my first child in Janua Kitty O'Meara originally published this wonderful poem on her blog back in March during the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic. The hopeful message of the poem struck a chord with readers across the world, and her poem went viral. I am so pleased this poem made it's way to this amazing children's book accompanied by beautiful illustrations from Stefano Di Cristofaro and Paul Pereda. This book was so special to me, in ways I’m not sure I can fully articulate. I gave birth to my first child in January. This magical life-changing experience will always be linked to the COVID 19 outbreak. While we were all learning about the details of the virus, I was also learning how to be a mother. I cannot separate the two experiences, because they happened simultaneously for me. But it’s fitting, really. Parenthood, especially in the beginning, is a combination of both overwhelming anxiety and overwhelming hope. We fear every little thing that could possibly go wrong, but that fear coexists with more hope than we knew we were capable of even having. In a way, the pandemic has been the same bittersweet combination of fear and hope for humanity’s future. This book perfectly captures this balance many of us felt throughout the last year. It may feel somber in the beginning, but it’s message is hopeful. This book would make a great holiday gift to readers young and old. Though it was inspired by the pandemic, the optimism for humanity will always be relevant. And The People Stayed Home was released last week, and is available just about anywhere just about anywhere books are sold, including my Bookshop page. I want to give a huge thank you to TRA Publishing for providing a copy of this book for me to review. I will cherish for years to come. I will read this book to my son one day and tell him about his first year of life, when we stayed home. Blog | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads | Storygraph

  8. 5 out of 5

    Franci

    #115 of 2020 Read by Kate Winslet! What a treat!!! This is a great book. Simply splendid and touching and emotional. Side note: Vooks just may be one of my new favourite things!!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Moonkiszt

    RTC. . .

  10. 5 out of 5

    Linda Prendiville

    I feel a little funny adding a picture book to my booklist, but hey, why not? This book is beautiful and deserves to be shared! Kitty O’Meara wrote a Facebook post in early March 2020, soon after our lives were forced to turn slow overnight, for most of us that is. It has now been turned it to a gorgeous book, perfect for your 2020 time capsule.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stacy Natal

    A friend dropped this off for me and I love it so much. It’s a heartfelt reflection of what staying home for so long has done for many. Optimistic, reverential, and beautiful. Can’t wait to read it to my students.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Library Land

    A poem about quarantine times during COVID, with a focus on the idea of nature, and then people, “healing” themselves during a lockdown period. It’s simple, but the illustrations are the fun part, featuring people working out, playing with their animals, or just napping the day away during quarantine. It would be a great way to get kids to talk about what they did during quarantine and, more importantly, how they are feeling. The poem also includes a small reference to grieving, which we’ve all A poem about quarantine times during COVID, with a focus on the idea of nature, and then people, “healing” themselves during a lockdown period. It’s simple, but the illustrations are the fun part, featuring people working out, playing with their animals, or just napping the day away during quarantine. It would be a great way to get kids to talk about what they did during quarantine and, more importantly, how they are feeling. The poem also includes a small reference to grieving, which we’ve all done in one way or another during quarantine. I think it’s definitely a story that could be used as a starting point to a larger discussion, rather than one that you’d read to the kiddos for fun. (Not sure about releasing that goldfish back into the wild, though!)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ame

    This is a tough one to rate, so I may just leave it be. It was created very early in the pandemic and it's super hopeful and optimistic (though I really did like the line "Some met their shadows" because it's eerie), and I'm not quite at the mentality where the book is yet (since the pandemic is still very real and near). I wouldn't protest if the mindset in the book came to fruition though. We need a hopeful tone! This is a tough one to rate, so I may just leave it be. It was created very early in the pandemic and it's super hopeful and optimistic (though I really did like the line "Some met their shadows" because it's eerie), and I'm not quite at the mentality where the book is yet (since the pandemic is still very real and near). I wouldn't protest if the mindset in the book came to fruition though. We need a hopeful tone!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cara Byrne

    I did not encounter this poem when it was originally published in March 2020, and as I read it in January 2021, I wonder who O'Meara is writing for. The picture she paints of people meditating and dancing and resting during the pandemic is not the reality I've faced, so I just didn't find the book compelling. I read it to my six year old who wondered where the peoples' masks were ("Do we not have to wear masks anymore?"). I like the illustration style, but I just don't have the same emotional co I did not encounter this poem when it was originally published in March 2020, and as I read it in January 2021, I wonder who O'Meara is writing for. The picture she paints of people meditating and dancing and resting during the pandemic is not the reality I've faced, so I just didn't find the book compelling. I read it to my six year old who wondered where the peoples' masks were ("Do we not have to wear masks anymore?"). I like the illustration style, but I just don't have the same emotional connection that others have had to this book and the poem.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Annalisa

    It had a nice sentiment, but this book really only captures what aspects of this time might look like for financially stable families. It's a great book if your family isn't really suffering during this time, but there are so many people who are on the brink of losing their homes that I feel the text comes across as ignorant. Do kids need a book that's honest about the suffering many are experiencing? I don't know, that's for you as a parent to decide. But we aren't fixing the earth by staying h It had a nice sentiment, but this book really only captures what aspects of this time might look like for financially stable families. It's a great book if your family isn't really suffering during this time, but there are so many people who are on the brink of losing their homes that I feel the text comes across as ignorant. Do kids need a book that's honest about the suffering many are experiencing? I don't know, that's for you as a parent to decide. But we aren't fixing the earth by staying home. We aren't all becoming better people and learning new hobbies.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Based on a poem written by Kitty O’Meara,the vibrant picture book, And the People Stayed Home, explores many activities people did at home during the Covid 19 pandemic. O’Meara describes things learned, things understood, and the possibility of things healed. This book could be a good discussion starter for classroom or personal use to talk to children about their pandemic activities. For ages 3 - 8.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    The author wrote a poem about life during a pandemic and after the pandemic and then shared it on Facebook. This book is really beautiful and touching. it lists all the things that people did after they had to stay at home (they listened deeply, they danced) and it talks about things that people did differently afterwards (they grieved their losses and dreamed new images). Nice and oversized for story times. This is my 2nd favorite book about the pandemic, right after While We Can't Hug. The author wrote a poem about life during a pandemic and after the pandemic and then shared it on Facebook. This book is really beautiful and touching. it lists all the things that people did after they had to stay at home (they listened deeply, they danced) and it talks about things that people did differently afterwards (they grieved their losses and dreamed new images). Nice and oversized for story times. This is my 2nd favorite book about the pandemic, right after While We Can't Hug.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Leona

    This is an excellent children’s book with a nice rhythm and simple graphics (which would work on Zoom). I think it would be useful as a story time platform to lead to discussion about the experience the children have had during the pandemic. It’s hopeful but realistic. I like the environmental aspect of taking care of the earth as well as each other. I hope this book is read to many children.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Becky Galambos

    A lovely book made from Kitty 0'Meara's poem. The illustrations are amazing, except for one concerning one where the boy is emptying his goldfish bowl into the stream. Um, no. Not something we should even think about doing as part of making different choices. I'm not as hopeful as she is, but I am longing for the day when it is safe to gather and grieve our losses. A lovely book made from Kitty 0'Meara's poem. The illustrations are amazing, except for one concerning one where the boy is emptying his goldfish bowl into the stream. Um, no. Not something we should even think about doing as part of making different choices. I'm not as hopeful as she is, but I am longing for the day when it is safe to gather and grieve our losses.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey Rick

    The idea behind this book was a good one, but one page just ruined it for me. Yes, we stayed home which had a positive impact on the environment. However, the way that page was worded was needlessly harsh for a children's book. The idea behind this book was a good one, but one page just ruined it for me. Yes, we stayed home which had a positive impact on the environment. However, the way that page was worded was needlessly harsh for a children's book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Trossbach

    Contentment Peaceful learning contentment and comfort as we live our wake up time to our eating and moving and playing and stretching and drawing and reading times to when we curl to sleep.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Karen Stanton

    Sweet, thoughtful book about how life has changed during the pandemic. Beautiful illustrations. I want to save it as a keepsake of this unusual time that will hopefully be a distant memory in the future.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    Love the diversity of life and culture in the art and the hopeful nature of the book. An acknowledgement of how hard things can be in 2020, but shows us all (not just the children we read to) how we can move forward.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Munita

    Poem about surving and moving on.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Karyn Ann

    Perfect for all adults to share with children during this difficult time.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kristina Jean Lareau

    Timely, well-written and lovely illustrations.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    Timely book due to the pandemic.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amy Sands

    Beautiful written and illustrated. Such a good way to think about covid. The poem makes you think about what you should/did do during the lockdown.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    This was a very large picture book. I enjoyed the poem and the artwork separately, but I don't think they worked that well together. This was a very large picture book. I enjoyed the poem and the artwork separately, but I don't think they worked that well together.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Finn Murphy

    Beautiful.

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