Upcoming children’s book to address family screen time use
Here we go again! I have been so looking forward to sharing this announcement. My third book in The Tweeting Galah cybersafety series is on its way!
It is called The Little Possum Who Looked Up, and will be released January 2020.
The idea of writing a picture book for younger children began after hearing of the increasing research about the impact of too much screen time. Working in a primary school, I was seeing the effects of this daily in my classroom… everything from students arriving and going to sleep on their desk, to students having complete meltdowns when told to turn off the iPad and listen to the next instruction. This sort of technology overuse was addressed in my first book (The Tweeting Galah) in the short story, “The Curious Case of the Overly Playful Platypus”.
The research that really got my attention this time around though, was about parents and their use of screen time:
Common Sense Media found in their 2019 “Screens and Sleep” report that 52% of parents said they spend too much time on mobile devices, and 39% of kids agree!!!
So many adults are quick to point the finger at kids for misusing technology, but we easily forget the impact our own actions have in shaping their attitudes and behaviours. Particularly at home, where kids observe and learn from what they see around them.
Which leads me to The Little Possum Who Looked Up. This illustrated, rhyming picture book follows young Pebbles the Possum, who looks up from her screen to see the moon shining brightly outside her window. She decides to stop looking up faraway places on her tablet, and visit them in real life instead. But to finish her rocket ship and get to the moon, she’ll need some help from her family. If only they could look up from their screens long enough to help her!
The book is designed to address many parts of the F-2 Digital Technologies, English, History, Geography, Health and Science curriculum. Like the other books, there will be supporting teacher resources and activities freely available for use.
I’m so excited for how this book will help spark awareness and action about screen time balance. I look forward to sharing updates of its production over the coming months and sharing the final, printed version with you in January 2020.
Pre-orders are available for teachers who want to get super organised for the new year. I’m offering 15% off and free worldwide shipping until November 18th 2019. If you’re a teacher interested in the book, I’d love to hear from you! In particular, the ways you might use it and what sort of resources might be useful to you.