A Hashtag Cautionary Tale

Publisher: Andersen Press

Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross are picture book royalty, and a new collaboration from them is always something to celebrate.

This cautionary tale about the dangers of oversharing on social media is hilarious and timely. As children become adept at using social media at a younger age, it’s important for them to understand the significance their posts can have, but a classroom lecture or a dull pamphlet about safeguarding on the internet is unlikely to be as memorable as this excellent story.

As usual, Willis’ rhymes are impeccably witty and a dream to read aloud. Tony Ross’ inimitable illustrations are instantly classic. By cleverly using a character we already know to be naughty, the story makes its point gently and without judgement. Social media is not the villain here, but in a world where we are prone to overshare and seek social approval for our daily life, it’s brilliantly funny to see it become the undoing of a fairy tale character.

Like the pair's other modern cautionary tale, Chicken Clicking, this has value way beyond a standard picture-book audience age range, and should be installed in every classroom in every primary and secondary school.

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