Aaron Reynolds and Matt Davies Tweet About Kids & Technology

Nerdy Birdy Tweets cover

In Nerdy Birdy Tweets by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Matt Davies, Nerdy Birdy and his best friend, Vulture, are very different. Nerdy Birdy loves video games, but Vulture finds them BORING. Vulture loves snacking on dead things, but Nerdy Birdy finds that GROSS. Luckily, you don’t have to agree on everything to still be friends.

One day, Nerdy Birdy joins Tweetster, and the friend requests start flying in. Vulture watches as Nerdy Birdy gets swept up in his new friendships, but when she finally gets angry, Nerdy Birdy knows just what to do to make things right.

Below, Aaron (@areynoldsbooks) and Matt (@MatttDavies) discuss kids and technology, focusing their own kids who inspired them to write this book!

Nerdy Birdy Tweets excerpt

@areynoldsbooks: #NerdyBirdyTweets is out! Available now wherever books are sold!

@MatttDavies: Yes! I have a shiny new copy in front of me! My favorite part is where Vulture puts #NerdyBirdy in her mouth — and he’s so busy being online he doesn’t even notice…

@areynoldsbooks: I noticed that one reviewer thought the topics covered in the book were over elementary kids’ heads. That they don’t know anything about social media or posting online. What do you think of that, @MatttDavies?

@MatttDavies: I dunno @aaronreynoldsbooks…All the kids I’ve been lucky enough to meet – from about the age of 12 months and up – seem to be fairly familiar with the mysterious interactive alchemy of digital screens.

@areynoldsbooks: Agree! Everywhere I look, kids are on phones. Grocery stores, airports, in the car. It’s nonstop! #screentime #obsessed

@MatttDavies: Right? Plus the ones who are too young to engage in the wonders of social media are certainly #aware that their parents #ignore them – while using social media. In fact, I’m ignoring my #dog right now. She wants me to throw a ball, but I simply don’t have time for that!

Nerdy Birdy Tweets excerpt

@areynoldsbooks: Part of #NerdyBirdyTweets is about social media and how we interact online with each other. Nerdy Birdy joins an online game called Tweetster™

@MatttDavies: Hold on. Whoa — You’ll never guess who just #followed me!

@areynoldsbooks: Focus @matttdavies!

@Matttdavies: Sorry. It’s kind of hard when there’s SO MUCH GOOD STUFF happening all over my iDevice. I definitely think kids will understand and very much identify with Tweetster™.

@areynoldsbooks: Agreed! I know that elementary kids aren’t literally on Twitter. But they interact online with other people every day.

@MatttDavies: It’s something I worry about with my own kids, one of whom is in elementary school. He and his friends play video games that are connected via the web.

@areynoldsbooks: #Minecraft #WorldofWarcraft #Halo #Overwatch Yep – all these games are played by elem kids and have HUGE online social components.

@MatttDavies: Hard to teach kids to navigate this stuff (as a parent who isn’t fully able to navigate it myself…) But forbidding it altogether feels like the wrong tactic.

@areynoldsbooks: It’s our new reality. Posting anything you want online is so easy. No matter how old you are. Feels anonymous. Feels allowed. Kids are using words as weapons online at a really young age. #wordsasweapons #notokay

@MatttDavies: Yeah…It’s amazing who you’ll find posting things they’d never dream of saying to someone’s face.

@areynoldsbooks: Agreed. The things that Nerdy Birdy posts about vulture on Tweetster are so wrong. He unintentionally wounds and embarrasses his best friend online. #notcool #accidentalcyberbully

@MatttDavies: He posted stuff HE thought was funny without considering the #consequences.

@areynoldsbooks: It’s not just kids who need to think a little more before they tweet #notnamingnames

@MatttDavies: Heh. Is that a crafty nod to my day job as a political cartoonist? 😉

@areynoldsbooks: Elem teachers are telling me that this is #SUPERRELEVANT to elem kids today.

@MatttDavies: They’re having to learn to navigate this newfangled problem just as much as parents are.

@areynoldsbooks: But for them it’s not newfangled. Remember…elem kids have never known a world where there wasn’t social media or the ability to say whatever you want online.

@MatttDavies: #Truth

@areynoldsbooks: But #NerdyBirdyTweets isn’t just about what we say online. NB spends all his time on Tweetster and Vulture wants 2 play in real life

@MatttDavies: The other day I was watching a stunning meteor shower and I noticed some kids were staring at their phones and THEY WERE MISSING THE METEOR SHOWER!

@areynoldsbooks: Real friends don’t let friends stare at their phones all the time.

@MatttDavies: #Onerealfriendisworth1000onlinefriends

@areynoldsbooks: Verdict? Is #NerdyBirdyTweets relevant to elem kids

@MatttDavies: Certainly relevant to the few thousand I’ve spent time with recently.

@areynoldsbooks: I very much agree. But I’m happy to let kids, parents and teacher decide for themselves.

@MatttDavies: Not to mention the story’s pretty good 😉

@areynoldsbooks: And the drawings aren’t too bad either ☺ #nerdybirdytweets #readitnow

Aaron Reynolds is a New York Times-bestselling author of many highly acclaimed books for kids, including Carnivores, Chicks and Salsa, Joey Fly, Private Eye, and the Caldecott Honor-winning Creepy Carrots! He also wrote Nerdy Birdy. He lives in the Chicago area with his wife, two kids, four cats, and between three and ten fish, depending on the day.

Matt Davies was the recipient of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartoons, the inaugural 2004 Herblock Prize, and the 2001 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. He is the author/illustrator of Ben Rides On and Ben Draws Trouble, and the illustrator of Nerdy Birdy. He and his wife, Lucy, live in Wilton, Connecticut, with their three children.