The Giant Snorflaggle, resplendent in a fantastic top hat, wings to fly and a pointed tail, is on the job to help children understand the coronavirus pandemic.
“Parents need to wash their hands. Kids need to wash their hands. Even the Giant Snorflaggle needs to wash its hands – all four!” That’s the message in one of the coloring pages artist and UW-Madison alumnus Will Santino (MFA 2018) drew to help children understand how to stay healthy.
“I knew how strange and scary of a change everything has been for me. How would it be to a five or six-year-old who’s been told: ‘You can’t see your friends.’ ‘You can’t visit your grandparents.’ ‘You have to stay inside all the time.’”—Will Santino
Santino’s coloring pages are one of three art projects—supported by the University of Wisconsin-Madison “Do Your Part” Communication Collaborative for COVID-19 Response, the Global Health Institute (GHI) and the School of Human Ecology (SoHE)—to help children and adults navigate a COVID-19 world. The projects also include a set of drawings for adults by UW alumna and artist Mary Michaud (B.A. ’90) and a coloring book for children based on 10 best ways to limit the coronavirus spread by UW-Madison seniors Carissa Waldo, Caitlin Marks and Paige Broustis.
“Art is as essential as food and water in difficult times,” says project leader Lori DiPrete Brown, a GHI associate director who teaches in SoHE. She has facilitated bringing art into the coronavirus messaging and plays a leadership role in the task force’s efforts to build messages based on research. The art projects are designed especially for those facing special challenges, including children and essential workers.