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Sales of the picture book “I Don’t Want to Wash My Hands!” soared by more than 2000% over the last month, following new hygiene advice related to the coronavirus outbreak.

Parents desperate to persuade their children to keep washing their hands have been turning for help to this book with Tony Ross’s anarchic creation the Little Princess.

First published in 2001, the children’s book follows the Little Princess as she’s asked to wash her hands repeatedly, after playing outside, playing with her dog, going on her potty and sneezing. “‘WHY?’ said the Little Princess. ‘Because of germs and nasties,’ said the Maid.”

Publisher Andersen Press said that it had seen “unprecedented demand” for the book, with sales increasing more than 2,000% from February to March 2020.

“We’re in strange times, and all just trying to find our way through it – now more than ever with children at home and parents feeling the pressure of home-schooling and working from home,  it appears that books are helping people have open and honest conversations with youngsters, without being too dramatic and scaring them,” said Andersen Press’s Paul Black,

“From all the guidelines we know washing our hands is the biggest thing we can do to help stop the virus spreading. Maybe if it’s a character many children know and love it makes it all a bit easier – and less scary – for them to process,” he added.

Ross, who is isolating at home, said the sales boom “from a book written years ago” was unexpected. “This is the best bit of life it’s ever had,” he said

Source: The Guardian