Airman publishes ‘The Day My Kids Stayed Home’ book for families

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Ryan Lackey
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a series of problems that people are having to face in the fight to control the spread of the virus, but for young children it can be especially stressful and confusing to be disrupted from normal life. Parents are faced with the challenge of safely communicating current events and what everyone needs to do to remain safe during the outbreak.

It can be hard to reach out and help others when staying physically away is important, but for one medically minded military couple, it presented an opportunity to do something special. Spending more time at home gave them the inspiration and the time to create a kid-friendly book called “The Day My Kids Stayed Home” to help inform families about the virus.

“I wanted a family-friendly way to inform parents and their kids about the need to stay inside right now,” said Staff Sgt. Adam Wallace, 22nd Training Squadron water survival instructor. “I came up with the idea of a children’s book that could do both at the same time.”

The story features a pair of dogs, Maui and Luna, who walk their kids to school until one day the family stays home in the effort of physical distancing and the younger dog gets confused. The older dog then explains about the coronavirus and the best practices to prevent people from getting sick.

“After volunteering for three years with Floating Doctors, a medical non-profit, we realized that change starts with kids,” Adam said. “If I can teach a four-year-old how to do proper physical distancing, then they will help reinforce their parents.”

The book is made for children, but also includes several pages of factual information about the virus and the pandemic for adults who may be struggling to keep up with all the information concerning the virus over the last two months.

“Adam was an EMT before joining the Air Force and I’m a paramedic, so we’re acutely aware of how serious it is to isolate,” said Valentina Segovia, Emergency Medical Response paramedic and Adam’s spouse. “Adam sold me on the book the same day he came up with it and has been putting so much positivity into it … which I think is really needed nowadays.”

Adam and Valentina worked steadily on the book for two weeks after the physical distancing order started at the beginning of March, quickly establishing a Kickstarter campaign and enlisting the help of Adam Riong, a Malaysian graphics artist that helped the couple remotely to quickly illustrate the book and have it ready to self-publish in under three weeks.

“The goal was getting it out there and available, not the money,” Valentina said. “We produced it ourselves, we make enough, we wanted to give back in a safe way and all the sales of the book will go to medical charity too.”

The “Day My Kids Stayed Home” book is currently available for purchase on Amazon, but Adam and Valentina have also made the book available for free digital download, so that people can access it right away.

“Being well informed is the first step to being safe,” Adam said.

COVID-19 affects everyone and the Center for Disease Control has stated that physical distancing as much as possible, practicing good hand washing and sanitation is the best way to slow the spread of the virus. Like Adam and Valentina, the U.S. Air Force is committed to following these guidelines and helping Airmen and their family members do the same. Only by taking care of each other, even during these unique circumstances, can the Air Force family stay fit to fly, fight and win.