A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that This Book Loves You is social media phenom PewDiePie's (sounds like "cutie pie") foray into book publishing. It's a highly illustrated collection of advice delivered as one-liners that satirizes social media memes and quotes along the lines of, "If life gives you lemons, complain." Lots of bathroom humor and strong language, although the strongest profanity is obscured by pictures or symbols while still making the meaning clear. The illustrations are cartoonish, mostly collages, and unrealistic. Violence is infrequent and shows a man pointing a toy gun at his own head, blood spatters and drips, and stick figures with their legs cut off. Sexual content includes a cartoons of sperm and male genitalia, nude butttocks, and mentions of tampons and dying a virgin. The satirical and parodic nature of the advice is a good starting point for talking about what the author is really trying to convey and what turning a message on its head does to the message. Note that PewDiePie came under fire in 2017 for posting anti-Semitic videos and imagery, and his Disney-owned studio dropped him. YouTube also canceled his show.
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What's the story?
YouTube phenomenon PewDiePie discovered that he has great wisdom and feels that the world desperately needs to hear it. He's also annoyed at the constant quotes and memes cluttering the Internet urging him to be good, strong, and positive. A fan pic on Twitter gave him the idea to spread his wisdom and balance out those annoying memes with advice of his own. One-liners take those quotes and turn them upside down by adding a sarcastic punch line and illustration.
Is it any good?
The smart-alecky, tongue-in-cheek advice one-liners and their colorful illustrations are sure to appeal to PewDiePie's millions of followers. Most of the illustrations find humor in turning annoying Internet memes on their heads by supplying a sarcastic punch line, often with potty humor or salty language thrown in for good measure. A few could seem genuinely mean-spirited, and another few are genuinely positive, good advice.
Younger readers may need help understanding that the book's not really telling you that you have no friends or are a loser, it's just making fun of the overload of inspirational quotes on the Internet. Teens and young adults will appreciate the satire and get some laughs out of it. It's too shallow and frivolous to offer genuine appeal to a broad audience. But when your narrow audience numbers in the millions, who needs breadth and depth? Not PewDiePie.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why PewDiePie wrote this book. He's already a billionaire with millions of followers on social media. Why publish a book, too?
How do the quotes about being a loser or nobody loving you make you feel? Is there any truth to them, or do they just make you laugh?
Which is your favorite quote? Why?
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