BUFFALO, N.Y. — March 2020 brought about a lot of changes and quickly.
There was a public health crisis, working from home, learning from home, masks, social distancing, ever-changing information, fear and uncertainty.
"I had been talking to some of my friends and colleagues and family members who are adults who were having a hard time comprehending this situation," said first-grade teacher Hailey Glynn. "Everyone was really confused and didn't know where to turn. I was like, if adults are feeling this way, I can't even imagine how my students are feeling, having lost their routine, lost their time with their friends, their school, their teacher...everything they know to be solid."
There was nothing in her lesson plan to explain to her students what was happening, so her mom suggested she write a children's book.
Glynn had never written a book before, but she loves to write and loves art so she combined those two passions to create "When Virona the Corona Came to Town."
Glynn said it took her less than a month to write and illustrate the book, which explains the coronavirus pandemic in a kid-friendly way.
She discusses the changes the pandemic brought about in life, how it's making people feel, and talks about essential workers and those who are helping during a difficult time.
"There's the message to appreciate others and be thankful for those who are so great and helpful during this time," Glynn said. "And even in times of trouble, even in very scary times, it's okay to find joy in your life. Just because it's a scary time, you don't have to wake up and be sad all day every day."
No one knew if her book would be successful or not. At one point, her mom asked if she would be upset if she only sold copies to family and friends.
"I was like no, it's fine. It has been a fun process," Glynn said.
Turns out, she's sold more than just a few copies. "When Virona the Corona Came to Town" is now an Amazon bestseller. She sold more than 15,000 copies in just the first two months.
"It kind of blew up in a way that I never expected. It's in other countries. It's in pretty much every state."
Glynn said she's heard from other teachers who plan to read the book to their students on the first day of school to help them better understand what's going on right now.
Glynn says she'd like to write and illustrate another book at some point.
"Teaching is definitely my passion. I will definitely stay teaching, but I think I will write another book for sure. It's been a really great experience. I think I have it in me to put another one together in the future," Glynn said.