They are some great books published in German on the importance of washing hands and how germs spread for different ages and tests: simple ones for little toddlers, picture books that wrap the idea around a story to make it more engaging for kids or aesthetically outstanding non-fiction books for kids 4 years and older, suspenseful chapter books about virus spread... Here is an overview.
Katie Daynes / Marta Alvarez Miguens
VOR DEM ESSEN HÄNDE WASCHEN
Written for the toddlers, this book with lots of flaps really makes a point of washing hands and explains age-appropriately why. In other times I might have felt it is being a little bit too insistent, verging on germophobia (at least from a German perspective where we tend to believe playing in mud and being exposed is a good thing), but currently you can't go wrong with that really.
2 years and up
Frauke Nahrgang / Susanne Szesny
ZÄHNE PUTZEN, PIPI MACHEN
Not a book on how germs spread - but on how hygiene is important in general terms from the incredibly popular series Wieso, Weshalb Warum junior, this is a book that is liked by parents and toddlers alike. Includes lift the flaps.
2 years and up
HÄNDEWASCHEN - ICH MACH MIT!
Mats is new at preschool and quickly makes friends with Finn, the fox. In their excitement they forget some basic rules about washing hands... soon Mats learns all about it. Cheerful illustrations make this a story kids are drawn too and is a good choice for children not so much into non-fiction books.
3 years and up
Heidri Trpak / Leonora Leitl
AUS DEM LEBEN EINES
This is a critically acclaimed, award winning non-fiction title where the main protagonist is Willi, the virus - of the common cold. He tells how humans and conditions help him to spread. It is an unusual perspective, written by a child expert Heidri Trpak - and has amazing, if slightly abstract illustrations by Leonora Leitl.
5 years and up
Idan Ben Barak / Julian Frost
DIESES BUCH AUF KEINEN FALL ABSCHLECKEN!
Idan Ben Barak is a doctor with a a degree in bacterologie - and he has written a super fun interactive picture book with little text. It takes us on a trip, showing where we can find bacteria and germs (everywhere is the answer), with highly enlarged photographs (and little playful drawings.)
4 years and up
If your kid wants to dive into the topic or is alredy older, this book has a a great mix of information, photography and more cartoon like pictures that illustrate the topic well. The publishing house recommends it for kids 7 years and up, but it works well for very interested kindergarteners as well.
You learn what bacteria and viruses are, of good and bad ones, how the body fights them and much more.
7 years and up
DER HUND DER DIE WELT RETTET
For all that love suspense with some fantasy about a virus, friendship and loyalty, this is a true page-turner. 11 year old Georgie loves her dog Mister Mash. She also gets to befriend a retired eccentric scientist and thus becomes a beta-tester of her newest invention: virtual 3D glasses that can see into the future. But what Georgie sees is scary: there is a virus from China that makes all dogs, including Mister Mash sick. Georgie has to save all dogs - and possibly humanity all while sitting and looking through the glasses..
It might be a slightly eery read right now during the pandemic - but for the brave ones - or in a bit of time it is definitely worthwhile.
11 years and up