Arlington Heights author explains COVID-19 to kids

Big topics in the news - like the COVID-19 pandemic - may not be the easiest to explain to our youngest families members, but it's what an Arlington Heights resident has set out to do.

Ken Korber, who has spent three decades in the health care field as a physician assistant, has gone from the doctor's office to the 25N Coworking space in Arlington Heights, where he's pivoted to a new career as a children's book author.

Since 2017, Korber has penned 11 books in the Grace & Friends series, featuring a little girl and a cast of characters that promote health, fire safety, musical education and literacy to ages 3-6. Perhaps none of the stories are as timely as "Grace Fights COVID-19: A Training Manual for the Musical Adventures Bug Squad."

Ken Korber of Arlington Heights

Amid the second COVID-19 wave, Korber is now working on a second edition after the initial release in May when the pandemic was taking hold.

"We explain what it was and why they needed to wash hands, stay home from school, couldn't see teachers, and have to wear a mask," Korber said.

Korber started writing the stories as a way to reinforce health messages children receive during visits to the doctor's office, and in ways that they could better understand. As the books began finding their way into more and more waiting rooms, Korber launched a nonprofit, the Center for Functional Learning, to get foundation and grant support to distribute the books to additional clinics, hospitals and libraries.

His books are at 17 suburban public libraries, including the Arlington Heights Memorial Library. Consumers can purchase their own copies at

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