All Cooped Up is Virginia Nevarez’s first book, though she had been an artist all of her life. After studying at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, she decided to become a teacher and bring her creativity to her students. She has been teaching for 30 years, 26 of those in kindergarten. She also has a master’s degree in special education, with an emphasis in autism spectrum disorder.
When the school closures began in March 2020, due to the pandemic, Virginia, like other teachers around the world, had to figure out how to continue to teach her students from home and in ways that would be fun and interactive. Reflecting over this time and watching this shared experience unfold around the world, she started to draw and came up with All Cooped Up. This book is a gift to her kindergarten students and their families.
Virginia lives in Yuba City, California, with her husband, three wonderfully creative sons, and three playful cats.
All Cooped Up is a sweet story about a little family of chickens keeping each other safe and calm during an uncertain time. On a little lavender farm, the barnyard animals suddenly and quite unexpectedly find themselves quarantined in their barnyard spaces. Little Chick and his brothers and sisters are unsure of what is happening, but Papa Rooster and Mama Hen help them better understand. Mama Hen sings to her young chicks every night, keeping them safe, and Papa Rooster reassures the chicks through habit, crowing a cock-a-doodle-doo every morning.
Little Chick and his family soon find security in their own little world as they persevere and find new ways to continue all the things they love to do. Then one morning, after Papa Rooster crows, the chicken family can hear the other barnyard animals respond, and though far apart, they all come together in song, bringing a sense of hope and community.
Through rhyme and delightful illustrations that appeal to young and old alike, this timely story captures the experience of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic without ever mentioning it.