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Teach Your Kid Why They Should Never Listen To The Gossip “Telephone”

Kids these days complain that growing up is more complicated than it’s ever been, but many kid-on-kid conflicts still boil down to the same old game of telephone that convinced you Jimmy McPatrick said you sucked when he actually said you rocked back in the second grade. The only difference is that the telephone in question is Snapchat.


What James Said is contemporary retelling of this story, in which a budding young painter’s preparations for the big art show go sideways when her friend Declan’s little sister (who heard it from Declan, who heard it from Anna, who heard it from Emily, who heard it from Dante) tells her that her best friend James said, “She thinks she’s perfect.” Humble, well-adjusted child that she is, the girl flips out, goes all Jackson Pollock on the book’s pages, and confronts James at the art show, only to learn she kinda, sorta has what James said off by one important word.


There’s a lot for your kid to learn in What James Said, including lessons about trust, betrayal, and the true meaning of friendship. And it might serve as a reminder for you that you never really made up with old Jimmy. Think he’s on Snapchat?

What James Said by Liz Rosenberg and Matt Myers ($12)
Ages: 4-8