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Author: Genre: () Length: Short Story

Free on 9th Feb 16
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The Internet offers a world of knowledge and entertainment to our children, but we know it can also pose dangers to unsuspecting users. Today, learning to play safely online is just as important as learning to safely cross the street. In Beware of the Nice Strange Man, Bruford, the young protagonist, learns the dangers of befriending a stranger online.

Written in rhyme and vividly illustrated, Beware of the Nice Strange Man is a short tale that shares very important lessons that are easy for youngsters to understand and remember. Conceived back in 2004, the original story wasn’t published until 2014; the current e-book was updated and released in February 2016, just in time for International Safer Internet Day.

Free on 9th Feb 16
View on Amazon.co.uk

Reviews:

"For its intended audience, children and parents who want to raise the issue of web safety, this is ideal. I'd even suggest it should be in school libraries."

Reviewer: .


This is an illustrated book to teach online safety to children.

Aimed at very young children, it is written in rhyme and I admit it took me a moment to notice. Each page is formatted like a print book, with a short section of text and a full colour illustration. The illustrations are cartoony but extremely good quality and the monster, wearing its little child mask, is outright creepy.

Normally I'd mark a book down for setting text sizes, but here the text effects are used to enhance to the story with font changes, and bold and coloured text used for emphasis. The formatting is a little odd for an ebook: long pages that resemble scans of a printed book, and the author's bio at the back is done the same way. However it ran on my PC reader, which many books formatted like this don't.

Older readers might notice that it doesn't go into what the abductor intends to do with the boy and what he goes to jail for 30 years for, or issues like using fake photos, but for its intended age group it will get the message across sharply about not meeting up with people online.

While I could pick at it, focusing on what it is not covering, but in this day and age the basic message is a simple one that needs to be repeated as often as possible: the web is not a safe place. In these days when primary school children can have phones that access social media, this book should help younger children understand the risks until they can understand the nuances.

For its intended audience, children and parents who want to raise the issue of web safety, this is ideal. I'd even suggest it should be in school libraries.

Rating: A



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Discussion

jessica (18 February 2016)
:eek: That thing peering through the grate makes me think of Stephen King!

rz3300 (10 September 2016)
Well I would have to say that it is never a bad thing to have a story that stresses the importance of web safety. These days you can never really be too careful when it comes to this, and if you get the kids' attention and teach them a little lesson, that is a win win for me. This looks like an interesting read, and I love the title.

porridge (11 September 2016)
This book might not squick the grandkids out, but it gave me the willies. Reminds me of "It's not your father, it's just *wearing his face*."

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