“I don’t feel like I’m very good at drawing real people in the real world” says a wistful Axel Scheffler.

The illustrator is famous for his weird and wonderful pictures of animals in books like The Gruffalo, but now the coronavirus pandemic has brought him back into the real world with a bump.

The 62-year-old has just helped to produce what must have been one of the fastest books in history. Coronavirus: A Book for Children was written, illustrated and then published for free online in the space of week by Nosy Crow.

“My publisher had been speaking to a head teacher in East London who told her that many families were really worried and felt a bit helpless,” Scheffler says. “So the idea was to give children aged five to nine some information – as factual as possible – and in a simple language.”

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