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The Liking Tree: An Antisocial Media Fable

The Liking Tree: An Antisocial Media Fable


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A fun and witty tale to nip social media addiction, FOMO and excess screentime in the bud, while celebrating life lived in the moment, in person, and unplugged. Because “social media” isn’t really social at all...

The Story: When two children befriend a strange tree, they quickly become enchanted by its flattery and dazzling distractions. But as time goes by, and the tree’s selfish nature is revealed, the children must decide whether to live by its lonely rules, or walk away to rediscover the joys of real life and true friendship.


Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter... They were supposed to change the world, and they have—for the worse! Experts agree: the negative effects of social media addiction include depression, anxiety, FOMO, and loneliness. Simply put, social media is bad for mental health, and teaching digital minimalism from a young age is now essential to realizing digital wellbeing and avoiding social media problems down the road.

If only there were a subversive anti-social media book that employs sly metaphor to help vaccinate kids from the harmful effects of social media screentime. Enter The Liking Tree, the unauthorized parody that turns Shel Silverstein’s beloved classic The Giving Tree on its head to caution children *of all ages* about social media problems and the sad, empty existence that is life lived via the social platforms.

A proverbial ounce of social media prevention, The Liking Tree is an essential part of any digital parenting toolbox—teaching children to recognize and reject the antisocial behaviors that social media has normalized. Because kids who stay off social media to begin with won’t need social media detox or help quitting social media; they’ll have learned the joys of reducing screentime in favor of living life in the moment, in person, and unplugged.

Praise for The Liking Tree: An Antisocial Media Fable

"Bravo! Finally an entertaining and witty children's book that brilliantly conveys the dark side of social media to young readers! As a parody of a children's classic, The Liking Tree is also smart and compelling enough for parents as well. John Allen Wooden has done a tremendous service for all families with his innovative new book."

- Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, author of Glow Kids

"An inoculation against social media's seductive pull—and a great conversation starter for people of all ages. (Kids, your parents should pay attention to its message, too!)"

- Catherine Price, author of How to Break Up With Your Phone

"A perfect illustration of the toxic fruit that is social media. A powerful message for children and an eye-opener for parents."

- Thomas Kersting, author of Disconnected: How To Reconnect Our Digitally Distracted Kids

“A fun and witty take on the growing influence of social media on children—with a powerful moral to inspire all digital families.”

Elizabeth Milovidov, PhD, author of The Parent’s Guide to Parenting in the Digital Age

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781734470604
Publisher: Sourball Media Inc.
Publication date: 02/09/2020
Pages: 56
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.15(d)
Age Range: 3 - 12 Years

About the Author

John Allen Wooden is an Emmy and Webby winning producer, writer, and 20-year veteran of online media and late night television. His writing has been described as "remarkable" by Esquire, "hilarious" by the New York Times, and featured on the Vanity Fair "In" list. The Liking Tree is his first book for kids, and the first in a series about the joys of minimizing big tech's takeover of contemporary childhood.

An alumnus of Brown University, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife, two children, and a rapidly shrinking collection of screens. As you might expect, he's off social media, but keeps a small e-candle burning at

Mike Ferrin is a veteran cartoonist based in Kansas City, Missouri. His punchy, heartfelt, and laugh-out-loud illustrations have graced the pages of over a dozen children's books, including the parodies "The Liking Tree" by John Allen Wooden and "Good Night Kim Jong Un" by Elizabeth Fuller. You can see more of Mike's work online at

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