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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Nerdy Birdy Tweets, written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Matt Davies. Roaring Brook Press, Macmillan. Raincoast, 2017. $24.99 ages 5 and up

"An hour later, Nerdy
Birdy had fifty new
Tweetster friends.

"I'm friends with a

A day later, Nerdy Birdy
had one hundred new
Tweetster friends."

Do you remember meeting Nerdy Birdy?

He's back! This time he is consumed by social media. As often happens, his interest in everything electronic threatens his friendship with Vulture. They have been best friends since they first met. Their differences are inspiring to children who also march to the beat of a different drummer. But, they like many of the same things; thus, they have bonded over their love of silly faces, taking goofy pictures of each other, and gasping over what the other is eating for lunch.

Vulture is not keen on video games. But, she listens to Nerdy's glowing account of what his new game does.

"1. Collect tons of friends online who may,
or may not, text you back.
2. Play games with them all.
3. Tweet messages and pictures
for all to see!"

"Sounds, um, awesome."
said Vulture, even
though it really
sounded kind of dull."

As Nerdy is consumed by the need to find more and more friends on Tweetster, he forgets that he has a friend right by his side. It doesn't take long for Vulture to tire of it all and leave. Nerdy finally notices. He looks high and low until he finds her. As a good friend might do, Vulture joins Tweetster. They enjoy sending messages and photos to each other, until ...

Vulture quickly departs, leaving Nerdy to count on his new 'friends' for support. The realization that 'one real live you is worth a thousand Tweetster friends' puts them back on solid ground. Theirs is a friendship full of compromise, understanding and admiration.

Aaron Reynolds has created characters for his readers to love and Matt Davies ups the humor and angst with pen, ink and watercolor images that are inventive and energetic. They are a great team!
Friendship is the message here, allowing for a young audience to think carefully about how we treat each other. It might also give pause to those sharing it with their own children. That could be a very good thing!

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