“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Yeah right. Unless you have extremely thick skin, I’m pretty sure you would have been hurt by something someone said about you at some point in your life. This is why I’m really glad that ‘Attack of the Cybugs’ dealt with the very real issue of cyberbullying. Before the Internet came about (and yes, I’m old enough to remember life before the Internet existed), name-calling and snide remarks were made behind our backs, and sometimes even to our faces, but you’d generally be able to tell who said what. However, with the advent of the Internet, people are able to hide behind their screens, becoming keyboard warriors who boldly say whatever they want, since they can remain anonymous.
In ‘Attack of the Cybugs’, Lord Myopic uses Cybugs to launch an attack on MyPower, the strongest ingredient in the Clear Vision Recipe. The Cybugs cause the residents of the Wood Wide Web to feel cold and sad (they remind me of the Dementors in the Harry Potter series!), and send anonymous texts and emails to warn people not to use the Clear Vision Recipe. Professor Plano plans a MyPower Flash Mob with a group of children who are tired of being fearful, and lures Lord Myopic and his Cybugs out for a battle. Needless to say, the Cybugs lose their power when the children stand firm and refuse to be affected by the Cybugs’ mean words.
As usual, the battle scene was the highlight of the story for N, and he drew his version of the children fighting with the Cybugs. I was quite amused that he came up with his own hurtful words for the Cybugs, and how he drew arrows to depict MyPower being used to fight against those words.
Cyberbullying is becoming increasingly prevalent, and we need to empower our children to fight against it. Children are very impressionable, and it is important that we remind them of their self-worth and let them know that bullies have no right to make them feel bad about themselves. I especially liked how the illustrations showed the Cybugs to be small, pathetic creatures, hiding beneath large capes, as it reinforces the idea that cyberbullies are cowards who are nothing without their screens to hide behind.
‘Attack of the Cybugs’ is a great way to broach the subject of bullies and cyberbullying, and can help parents to kickstart conversations on bullying. It is also important that we teach our children not to be bullies themselves, and show them that using mean words will hurt others.
BUY THE BOOK Plano Adventures: Attack of the Cybugs is available at Kinokuniya, Times Bookstores, as well as Popular bookstores.
We have one copy of ‘Plano Adventures: Attack of the Cybugs’ to be given away to one reader of Growing with the Tans! To participate, please visit our Instagram page. Terms and conditions apply.
Terms and Conditions: This giveaway will end on Friday, 22nd March 2019, at 2359h, and is open to readers with a Singapore mailing address only. The winner will be contacted via the particulars provided when entering this giveaway, and will have 24 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be selected. All incomplete entries will be disqualified, and all entries will be verified before the winners are announced. To be fair to our sponsor, please note that all fake Instagram accounts (accounts set up purely to take part in contests, with no or very few real posts), will be disqualified.