A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Lessons about screen privacy and posting pictures of others. Vultures eat dead animals. Bird families/species flamingo, ostrich, puffin. Puffins live in Iceland. Examples of screen acronyms and usernames.
Friends can like different things. Real friends are better than screen friends. When you make a mistake, you can admit it and correct it. Always check with friends before you post pictures of them on the internet.
Positive Role Models
Vulture expresses her feelings to Nerdy Birdy when she's upset. Nerdy Birdy admits when he's wrong, apologizes, and tries to correct his behavior. They both try to accept and accommodate differences in their friendship.
Violence & Scariness
Vulture eats dead animals, including a squirrel and a raccoon, which aren't shown fully in art, only tail end. When she's annoyed at Nerdy Birdy, she says, "Did you realize I can fit your whole body in my beak? I could eat you in one bite if I wanted."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Nerdy Birdy Tweets by Aaron Reynolds (Creepy Pair of Underwear) and illustrated by Matt Davies is a sequel to their picture book Nerdy Birdy. When Nerdy Birdy becomes obsessed with collecting screen friends on "Tweetster," he ignores his real friend Vulture, who loves "snacking on dead things." The conflict comes to a head when Nerdy Birdy posts an embarrassing picture of Vulture without asking her. The many lessons -- about screen obsession, internet privacy, friendship, accepting and accommodating differences, and admitting one's mistakes -- are pointed, but delivered with humor.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.