C is for COVID, and other alphabet lessons

Two Toronto marketing professionals have written an alphabet book that sees a world changed by the COVID crisis through a child’s eyes.

Gabriella Rackoff and Zoë Share have already filled nearly 600 pre-orders for their book ABC Stay Home with Me since it was formally introduced on April 29. All of the proceeds from sales of the $14 book are going to The Home Front, a Toronto organization dedicated to helping frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19.

“We’re both brand people and content is just so key right now,” says Rackoff of the book’s inspiration. “There’s a lot of creativity happening right now, and people responding to this situation in interesting ways, and we just wanted to be part of that in our own way.”

Rackoff, a former creative director with Eighty-Eight Agency, had been contemplating writing a children’s book for some time, and the COVID crisis provided both the impetus and the inspiration.

“As soon as I saw that daily life was going to change for everyone for longer than I initially thought, I had an idea for a kid’s book about it,” she says. “Zoë was really excited about it—she’s always wanted to write a kid’s book—so we just started working on it that night.”Screen Shot 2020-05-07 at 1.39.10 PM.png

The pair wrote the book together, directly referencing the ways life has changed during the pandemic. Each entry is accompanied by a whimsical drawing by one of 13 illustrators. Entries include “N is for normal. The new normal is hairy” and “R is for restaurants. And lots of takeaway.”

The women first began promoting the book on their social channels, but Share, the CEO of social marketing agency Schmooz Media, used her PR expertise to get the book featured on CBC Radio One’s daily show Metro Morning.

Rackoff says she had been searching for a project after being laid off from her prior job when the pandemic hit. “I needed a big creative project to sink my teeth into, and needed a break before having to run out and look for another role,” she says. “It was just doing something creative for me, without having to get anybody’s permission.”

F is for Freedom. A rare gift indeed.


Chris Powell