Acclaimed Liverpool author to officially launch Ben and the Bug this week


“Book will help with return to school life” says Natalie Reeves Billing

A Liverpool entrepreneur, author and mum of two young children is set to officially launch her latest book aimed at easing the anxieties many families are facing in September and ‘Back to School’.

Natalie Reeves Billing believes ‘Ben and the Bug’ is being launched at a perfect time “when the world is still confused as to how to return to normal in the presence of COVID 19 and more specifically, how school life can return in the face of a pandemic.

“With so many families experiencing anxiety, I decided to create a heartfelt book that I hope can make a real difference,” said the 38 year old author.

Natalie pictured below explained: “It aims to change the face of Coronavirus for little ones by presenting the story through a Bug’s eyes, looking at life through the lens of a virus.

She describes Bug in the book as “curious, friendly, and interactive” rather than malicious, encouraging young people to wash their hands and follow the basic hygiene rules.


Natalie added: “The idea was to strike the perfect balance between fiction and fact, alleviating anxiety, and giving a talking point for families to discuss these difficult topics even with our youngest members.

“I’m really pleased with the illustrations by the inspirational and brilliant Lisa Williams and they cleverly demonstrate how the virus spreads by use of an ‘orange trail’. We see the surfaces that bugs most like to lurk on. Readers are also asked to ‘bust the bugs’ by finding the little bug pictures on each page.

“I know as a mum of two that children are less fearful of things they understand. Sometimes, allowing them to make up their own minds creates more problems. An honest space where adults can talk about these issues is much better than kids guessing at why the world has changed. It can lead to discussions about transmissions of winter bugs in general, not just coronavirus. And how washing our hands protects us from a multitude of illnesses, apart from COVID 19.”

Reviews of Ben and the Bug which was published in late May but held back for an official launch this month because of COVID 19 have called for it to be available as a resource in ‘back to school’ classrooms.

Natalie concluded: “We’ve just had some bulk orders from community centres across the region and we’ve purposely created a book with a low-price tag to make it affordable for all.”

Gerard Woodhouse, CEO of the L6 Community Association in Liverpool heaped praise on the publication.

“Ben and the Bug is an amazing book. Not only does it have a great storyline, but it also allows children to grasp an in-depth understanding of Covid-19 and how it spreads and affects the world.

“The Association has just sent copies of the book to 34 primary schools and 8 nurseries across the city. We want the book to reach as many children as possible so that they are able to learn about the changes to the world in a way that is accessible to them.”

Ben and the Bug is available here