Who hasn’t observed a young child mesmerized by a screen? Parents take advantage of this to distract their children when they, as the adult, have something else to do. It seems harmless, but is it?
This Dutch book offers a gentle and fair warning about the dangers of devices for children whose lives are meant to take place in the real world in real time. Children observe Bruno going for a walk with his two good friends, when he discovers…a cell phone! Bruno loves all that it can do so much that he has little need for anyone or anything else. How will this work out for him? Read this book with a child that you know to find out. The lesson is important for both kids and the ones who are in charge of them.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.
2021 Scree-Free Week Book List Selection!
“A bear named Bruno finds a new technological distraction in the woods. One day Bruno, Rico, and Renzo go fishing. While walking along a woodland path, Bruno finds something beautiful: a smartphone. He discovers fun sounds, exciting pictures, and new words. The best thing the phone offers is connections to new friends, and soon, Bruno has 100 friends. With so many new friends and diversions, Bruno has interest only in his phone, ignoring Rico and Renzo. During dinner, in bed, and even on the toilet, Bruno only has time for his new phone. Only after his two friends leave and the phone goes black does Bruno realizes what true friendship is. Translated from Dutch, Bruno’s story is clearly relevant to current technological society. His experiences will be familiar to many kids (and their grown-ups), demonstrating how the allure of instant friends, information, and media makes it so easy to get lost in the digital world. Pirrone emphasizes the quality of friendships over the quantity. The muted, angular illustrations add amusing details and acknowledge how mesmerizing phones can be. Drawn animals and plants placed on subtly textured backgrounds make up the charming full-color, full-page images. A bold display type is used to emphasize some of Bruno’s excited thoughts and words. A kid-friendly reminder of the dark side of connected life.” – Kirkus Reviews