An unlikely avian friendship is threatened by an obsession with social media in this follow-up to Nerdy Birdy (2015).
Big slouchy Vulture and Nerdy Birdy, tiny and brown with big, round eyeglasses, are best friends, though they’re very different. Nerdy Birdy loves playing video games, while Vulture loves snacking on dead things. Together, they enjoy taking goofy pictures of each other, making silly faces, and making fun of each other’s lunch. One day, Nerdy Birdy discovers an amazing new game. It’s called Tweetster; it does awesome things. After a week, Nerdy Birdy has over 500 new friends across the globe, but he doesn’t seem to notice the friend right in front of him. Vulture gets bored and flies away, but joining Tweetster herself restores common ground between the friends. But when Vulture logs onto the site, she finds a picture of herself and an insulting caption from Nerdy Bird. This thoughtless act causes Vulture to flap away for good. Nerdy Birdy reaches out for sympathy to his virtual network, but the response is underwhelming. Determined to find Vulture, Nerdy Birdy searches high and low, finally finding her and declaring, “One real live you is worth a thousand Tweetster friends.” Reynolds’ friendship fable is straightforwardly told. Davies’ lively and imaginative pictures, in pen, ink, and watercolor, consistently delight. But are very young readers, at whom the book seems aimed, using social media?
Still, cute and clever, and if it gives some prophylactic friendship pointers to children not yet networked, here’s hoping they’ll remember them. (Picture book. 3-5)