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The Liking Tree: Antisocial Media Kids Book

The first-ever “antisocial media” picture book for kids: a tale of social media & FOMO malaise, and a celebration of life lived in the moment, in person, and unplugged.


Now on sale in hardcover, paperback and eBook in the USA, Canada, and select international markets.



Hardcover & Paperback, 56 pp.


   Praise for The Liking Tree   

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





When two children befriend a strange tree, they quickly become enchanted by its flattery & dazzling distractions. But time goes by, and as the tree’s true 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. 


   THE need   

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 the sad, empty existence that is life lived via the social platforms. 

As a proverbial ounce of social media prevention, The Liking Tree is an essential part of today’s digital parenting toolbox—teaching children to recognize and reject the antisocial behaviors that social media has normalized. Because kids who keep off social media to begin with will never need help quitting social media or social media detox – because they’ll have learned the joys of reducing screentime in favor of living life in the moment, in person, and unplugged.


For occasional updates on The Liking Tree, future books, and other fun tech-skeptical stuff, please join my mailing list. I promise to never spam you. - John



Essential books & writing on understanding social media’s corrosive impact on contemporary childhood and society.

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