ABOUT THE BOOKHow can a family survive when the internet goes down? Clearly the parents have no solution. Luckily their daughter knows exactly what to do!
- In The Manic Panic, the protagonist’s house is suddenly without internet, and no one knows what to do. As her parents begin to unravel, the little girl takes matters into her own hands, and leads her family on an outdoor expedition. The book deals with the very relevant issue of screen addiction, and how it affects the way we live.
- Children will enjoy reading a book in which the tables are turned – rather than the parents reprimanding the child and tearing her away from the screen, it is the child who sees her parents’ habits for what they are and helps them get out of their obsession. This role reversal helps the picture book cleverly sidestep the issue of didacticism, or preachiness, since there is no one talking down to the child and explaining issues related to screen addiction. Instead, she operates on her own realisation of how little time the family spends outdoors, or reading books, or talking to one another.
- The Manic Panic will get children thinking about all the things they can do with their time if they aren’t glued to their screens. What are the things we forget to pay attention to because we’re too busy being entertained by our phones or tablets or computers? In this story, for example, the characters choose to cycle around the streets, have a picnic, and go to bed with a book.
- The illustrations are humourous and perfectly matched to the text. The playful tone of the book is well conveyed in the exaggerated pictures, which, among other things, show the parents throwing tantrums, the little girl dragging them across the floor of the house, and the grandmother riding a bike in full biker get-up!
- The book ends with a cute twist that will definitely elicit a giggle or three.