A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Fun references to prehistoric times include dinosaurs, the word "troglodyte," the Ice Age, gingko trees, and a visual reference of the evolution of fish as one climbs on legs out of water.
Screens are attractive and addictive, but if you put them down you can play with your friends and enjoy the world around you. There's lots to do and see and explore!
Positive Role Models
Once Tek puts down his devices, he's able to fully enjoy the big beautiful world around him and connect with his friends.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tek: The Modern Cave Boy is a book about weaning kids away from their screens that capitalizes on the trademark humor of author-illustrator Patrick McDonnell (Thank You and Goodnight). The book's designed to look and feel like a device, and it's silly fun that the main character, Tek, is a cave-dwelling troglodyte addicted to screens. Will he come out from his cave to enjoy the big beautiful world? Yes, with a little help from an active volcano. The moral's hammered hard, but the very clever humor softens the blow.
Is It Any Good?
Kids addicted to screens and their frustrated parents can laugh together at this book about a cave boy who stays glued to his devices until a volcano erupts, blasting him into the light of day. Tek: The Modern Cave Boy is itself shaped and designed like a device. But, ha! Fooled you! It's a book about the fun you can have in the real world when you put down your gadgets and actually look around. Hey! The world is "evolving"! Someone's invented a wheel to play on! And you might go sledding during the Ice Age!
Will kids take the message of the book to heart? Will they see the error of their screen-addicted ways and go out in "the big beautiful world" to breathe in "the sweet, fresh air"? Not likely, and there's the danger that they'll detect a slight whiff of adult scolding. But there're plenty of laughs in the prehistoric in-jokes, and kids can have rollicking, cartoony fun during the time they're reading the book.
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.