The Screen Thief! by Helen Docherty & Thomas Docherty

Published by Alison Green Books, an imprint of Scholastic, 2021.

I am always excited when Helen and Thomas Docherty publish a new book. My son and I have read and enjoyed lots of their previous stories from The Snatchabook to The Knight who wouldn’t Fight and Pirate Nell’s Tale to Tell. Their books usually advocate a love for reading and celebrate the pleasure that’s to be had from books. This time, the focus is slightly different. The Screen Thief! explores screen addiction – be it mobile phones, tablets or laptops – and encourages outdoor play and time away from screens instead.

When the Snaffle arrives in the city, she just wants to play. But nobody notices her; they’re all too busy staring at their screens. The Snaffle discovers that she likes screens, too – as a snack! She quickly chomps down every last phone, tablet and TV in the city. People are horrified – until they realise that life is much more fun when you actually play together.

The Screen Thief! is such an incredibly relevant book for our times. It holds a mirror up to modern life and reminds us to step back from the screens and be present in the moment.

The story is told in Helen’s trademark lovely, bouncy rhyme which – as ever – is a delight to read aloud.

I love the fabulous detail of the illustrations. The city setting is a mixture of all my favourite world cities – London, New York, and Paris. There’s an Art Deco vibe to both the cinema and the library facades, and the cinema interior is a dream!

The Screen Thief! is at once lots of fun – the Snaffle causes a delicious amount of chaos – while also being a timely and pertinent read.

Rating: 💙💙💙💙

Suitable for children aged 4+

Thank you to Scholastic for sending me this book to review. I reviewed it as part of The Screen Thief! blog tour where Helen wrote me a guest post about how to have a screen-free day with the kids. Click here to find out more.

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