Artist who spoofed the Ladybird Peter and Jane series releases a book on Covid

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An artist is set to release a hilarious spoof Ladybird  Peter and Jane book about the Covid-19 crisis which looks set to top the Christmas bestseller lists.  

Miriam Elia, an UK-based visual artist, tackles the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown in her new book We Do Coronavirus, which comes out on 5 November.

In the tongue-in-cheek title, Miriam’s characters can be seen attempting to tackle the virus in extreme ways, including dousing their gardens in bleach and taping off their grandmother’s houses with hazardous materials tape. 

The book, which is to be published by Dung Beetle Books, is set to become one of this years Christmas best-sellers after Waterstones ordered 8,000 copies, the Guardian has reported. 

Miriam Elia, an artist from the UK, has created a spoof of the Ladybirds Peter and Jane books called We Do Coronavirus, which is set to be a bestseller this Christmas

Miriam Elia, an artist from the UK, has created a spoof of the Ladybirds Peter and Jane books called We Do Coronavirus, which is set to be a bestseller this Christmas 

The book’s three main characters are called Mummy, John and Susan, and grow more sceptical of scientific advice as the pandemic goes on. 

The character only known as ‘Mummy’ also has an affair with the country’s main epidemiologist – a nod to Neil Ferguson, a former government advisor on coronavirus who was forced to quit in May after his extra-marital affair was uncovered.   

Miriam said she created the book during her time on lockdown because she needed something to keep her busy.  

She explained: ‘I created the book because I’m an artist and I respond to whatever’s happening around me and this is such a traumatic thing to happen that it just felt the natural thing.’

She added: ‘I’ve always had this theory that if you’re restricted in some way it can be a very creative process because when you can’t do things, you have to be more imaginative.’

We Do Coronavirus is highly critical of the way the coronavirus pandemic was handled in the UK, and in the book, homeless people are left to die because they can’t make contactless payments.      

The artist said she had been inspired to create the hilarious spoof book during the Covid-19 crisis (pictured)

The artist said she had been inspired to create the hilarious spoof book during the Covid-19 crisis (pictured) 

Elia has kept true to the 1950s style of the Jane and Peter offerings in order to underline the absurdity of some of the panic surrounding coronavirus that she shows in the book. 

She mimics a similar style to the original Ladybird books by making a collage and then adding watercolour. 

The artist also explained she looks to the 1950s style due to the contrast between the post-war optimism that was felt with the doom and gloom of 2020. 

She added that she felt the sharp comparison helped illuminate the absurdity of some of the restrictions, saying: ‘You can’t meet grandma but you can meet your mates in the pub or go out for a day’s foxhunting. It didn’t make any sense.’

The artist rose to fame in 2014 when she first spoofed the Ladybird books with a version called We Go the Gallery, a satirical book where children are introduced to conceptual art. 

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