Parents' Guide to

Nerdy Birdy Tweets

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Screen-addicted bird ignores real-life pal in funny story.

Nerdy Birdy Tweets Poster Image

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Is It Any Good?

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This fun animal friendship story, featuring a nerdy bird wearing glasses and a scraggly vulture, takes a contemporary spin with a plot that centers on computer games and social media manners. Nerdy Birdy Tweets explores some issues that are timeless; for instance, friends who are different, and apologizing when you're wrong. But it also ventures into screen etiquette, with friends who neglect real friends while stockpiling virtual ones, and friends who overshare. The lessons are pointed, but author Aaron Reynolds loads the book with so much humor that they don't seem preachy. Nerdy Birdy's giddy excitement is silly: "I'm friends with a puffin!! She lives in Iceland. Iceland!!" We giggle when Vulture flies away and Nerdy Birdy, glued to the screen, doesn't notice for an hour. And the birds play "Angry Worms." It's also refreshing that Vulture, who eats "dead animals," is a girl.

The art, by Matt Davis, who won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartoons, is as playful as the text. He gives both friends dry, deadpan expressions. Nerdy Birdy is so focused on his screen that he barely notices when Vulture encloses him in her beak. And a page that shows Nerdy Birdy's prolonged inattention travels from day to night. Is the picture book crowd active on social media, posting pictures and amassing online friends? Maybe not, but they can tuck these lessons away to apply in the near future.

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