"Solove debuts in children's literature with an age-appropriate, delightfully illustrated story concerned with issues of privacy. . . . Solove's underlying theme and catchy rhymes sit perfectly on the cusp of children's and middle-grade reading levels, and Beckwith's eye-catching and brilliantly detailed illustrations will inspire young imaginations to soar. Solove's background in privacy law is on clear display through the clever manipulation of the Eyemonger-who preaches "If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear"-until he at last understands that inspiration and creativity come to a standstill under his vigilance. . . . Beckwith's evocative illustrations create a gaslit, vaguely steampunk mood that will remind readers of classic adventure tales even as the story takes on complex themes of consent and creativity. Despite the divergence from more traditional storybook lessons, the concept of government overreach presented in this uniquely cautionary fantasy will educate children and their caregivers as well."
- Publisher's Weekly Book Life
"A well-crafted, important social tale with real-world relevance. . . . Solove expertly underscores the importance of personal privacy in a way that young readers will understand. . . . Beckwith's appealing illustrations skillfully mirror the story's mood."
- Kirkus Reviews
"This is the perfect gift and joy to read with your kids--full of whimsy and fun and gosh life lessons. This book will start a conversation with your kids that I know you will continue for a lifetime about what it means to have some privacy in our lives. Beautifully done."
- D.K. Citron, Distinguished Professor in Law, University of Virginia School of Law
"I love this book - and I wish there were more books like this for children that explain security, surveillance, and privacy. The illustrations were gorgeous, and multi-faceted - every time I open the book I see one more thing I hadn't seen before. The prose is fun, quick, and whimsical."
- Katelyn Ringrose, Future of Privacy Forum
A strange creature strips citizens of their privacy in this picture book.
The Eyemonger, a creature with “one-hundred-three eyes,” comes to town, vowing to keep citizens safe. They readily accept the Eyemonger’s watchful eyes and “elect him to lead” but soon become uncomfortable by their decreasing privacy as the creature constantly watches them from a tower. He even sends winged eyeballs to peer into homes and buildings. Although the citizens voice their distress, the Eyemonger refuses to stop. When a light-skinned citizen named Griffin boards up his windows, the Eyemonger is infuriated. He believes Griffin is hiding something and returns with an army of rhinos to knock down his home. When the Eyemonger notices that Griffin’s paintings were ruined in the raid, he realizes he made a mistake. He apologizes to Griffin and says from now on, he will “look only when you want me to see.” Solove expertly underscores the importance of personal privacy in a way that young readers will understand. Offering reminders like “Privacy is essential. We all need some time when nobody sees,” the tale serves as a metaphor for a significant social issue. Beckwith’s appealing illustrations skillfully mirror the story’s mood. For example, as citizens grow weary of the Eyemonger’s violations, the images feature gloomier tones. The excellent backdrops include brick buildings, bustling streets, and multicolored skies. Up-close depictions of fantasy elements, like the Eyemonger’s appearance as a purple, mustachioed, waistcoat-wearing creature, are particularly clever.
A well-crafted, important social tale with real-world relevance.