Me, Myselfie & I: A Cautionary Tale (Jamie Lee Curtis & Laura Cornell)

Hello, friends! Our review today is Me, Myselfie & I: A Cautionary Tale by Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell, a story about learning to balance digital and real life.

The unnamed narrator’s mom is a bit old-fashioned, so her family surprises her with a smartphone to bring her into the age of technology. Mom finds that she likes her new toy, especially “selfie culture” – taking photos of herself with family members and friends and sharing them with the world. At first, this is fun – it inspires mom to document and share all the fun things they do together as a family. But as time goes on, the obsession with documenting everything becomes a problem. Her life begins to revolve around her selfies and the promise of going viral – until her daughter steps up to confront her on her snap-happy ways.

Very interesting. I was a little wary of what the message would be in this one – after all, I’m a mom and blogger twice over – but I was happy to find that the central message encourages balance of digital vs. real life (rather than abstinence), which is absolutely something that every family needs to discuss in this day and age. Indeed, the story both celebrates how fun having an online presence can be, yet cleverly integrates how those “likes” can quickly become addictive and throw priorities out of whack. In this way, it’s a great way to both inspire conversations about responsible social media use with little ones while also reminding parents to set good examples of this balance themselves. The bouncy rhymes flow nicely for the most part, and the colorful, chaotic drawings perfectly express both joy and frenzy as the story unfolds. The length is good, and JJ enjoyed it. A modern cautionary tale with both wit and weight, and we liked it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Nerdy Birdy Tweets (Aaron Reynolds)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Nerdy Birdy Tweets, written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Matt Davies, a fable of friendship for the digital age.

A sequel to Reynolds and Davies’ Nerdy Birdy, the story picks up with best friends Nerdy Birdy and Vulture. While the two may not have a lot in common, they still enjoy being together, making funny faces and taking silly photos. One day, Nerdy introduces Vulture to an app called Tweetster, where he can play games and make hundreds of internet friends. Vulture is not very interested, and begins to feel left out as Nerdy spends all his time on his phone when they hang out. She attempts to get into the app so she and her friend can have more in common, but when Nerdy unthinkingly posts an embarrassing picture of her, she feels betrayed and ends their friendship. Nerdy doesn’t know what to do – and his 500 internet friends aren’t interested in helping. Can Nerdy Birdy find a way to win his best pal back?

As you can tell, this one covers some modern issues that kids face while trying to navigate friendship in the age of social media. It makes for a wonderfully unique and poignant story, teaching children that they need to respect others online, and that “likes” from strangers may feel good, but are no substitute for real social interaction from real friends. In a time when internet bullying and exploitation is having devastating real-world consequences on kids, this is an important lesson to instill early on, and this story does a great job of introducing it. Davies manically energetic pen and ink illustrations are a delight, crafting unique, memorable characters. The length is fine for little bookworms, and JJ really enjoyed the birdies. This is a wonderfully modern tale that can help young ones understand the importance of digital caution, and we loved it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

#BabyLove: My Toddler Life (Corine Dehghanpisheh)

Note: A review copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the book’s publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Hello, everybody! Our book today is #BabyLove: My Toddler Life by Corine Dehghanpisheh, a sweet story about the importance of balancing screen time and family time.

A little boy and his mommy have lots of fun playing together, and mommy takes lots of pictures with her phone to share with their friends and family. When Mommy is not looking, the boy takes the phone and plays with it, even though he knows he’s not supposed to. Mommy finds him and explains that the phone is not a toy, and while phones can be fun to play with and can record precious memories, it’s important to know when (and by whom) they should be used, and when they should be put aside so that mommies and babies can enjoy each other’s company.

This was a neat book that addresses a pretty modern issue: the balance of children and technology/social media. It can be a difficult balance to find for some families, and every family has different views about what their standards are (while JJ obviously has a sizable internet presence, something her daddy and I discussed and agreed upon before we started our blog, we have friends and family members whose children have virtually no internet presence at all – neither choice is the wrong one, it’s all about what each family is comfortable with). I think this book did a good job of impressing that no matter how big or small an influence social media and technology is in a little one’s childhood, using said technology responsibly, and balancing it with unplugged family time, is important. Otherwise, the simple, colorful illustrations were very cute, the story was a good length for baby bookworms, and JJ liked it. Baby Bookworm approved!