Book Review: “Webster’s Email” by Hannah Whaley | Diapers and Daydreams

Webster is a sweet spider who takes a picture of his baby sister, Ivy, looking perfectly silly. Meaning no harm, he emails the photo to their Dad to give him a laugh. Daddy Spider thinks the picture is too cute and so he forwards the email on to his friends. And so on and on the email goes. Webster fears that one little email has gotten sent out of control! How many people will see the picture of Ivy?! Will Mommy Spider be upset that Webster sent it in the first place?

This is an interestingly timely themed book for children – the power of technology! Definitely a good overall lesson to be taught – be aware that what you write and send on the internet is out of your control once you hit “send”! But author Hannah Whaley keeps the topic light and fun (thankfully, no harm was done by Webster’s email!) and it is a good introduction to the computer and how emailing and technology works for the little ones. The book is full of nice rhymes and colorful illustrations of spiders and bugs that are friendly – not scary – and the text is clean and oversized, making it easy to read for our early readers who are practicing. Webster’s Email is also a great counting book, as we count along with the spider to the twenty people his email reaches.

This book is aimed at children ages 3-8 and the message is ideal for teachers and librarian to share with their students, as well as parents. However, the etiquette of email and information technology usage is a topic that many teenagers and adults alike could stand to revisit. It would honestly benefit middle and high schoolers to pick up this book to receive a reminder that what information about themselves they put online or send through text or social media can easily be forwarded on with no way of controlling where it’s final destination will be; College recruiters and future employers will be able to find anything they put out there these days!

Dolly stayed up late to read “Webster’s Email” one more time before bed!

One of my favorite things about this book is the great activity book that comes with it! The activity book is filled with great coloring pages, crosswords, mazes, counting activities, and a quiz about the book! This is a great way to encourage fun – and critical thinking – after your child finishes the story!

Also available is “Webster’s Bedtime”, the second in this series of technology-themed picture books!

“Webster’s Email” is a perfectly timely idea for a book from author Hannah Whaley! Based out of Scotland, Ms. Whaley was named UK Learning Technologist of the Year in 2007 before she began working in Library Management to share her love of education and technology with children.