Polly and the Screen Time Overload by Betsy Childs Howard




Introducing Kids to the Importance of Boundaries with Technology

Technology can be a helpful tool and source of enjoyment for many families―a way to aid children with learning, to connect with loved ones, and to provide entertainment. But as with many good gifts from God, tech devices are best used in moderation.

In this new picture book, readers meet Polly while on a trip to her grandparents’ farm. During her visit she spends all her time on her new tablet instead of enjoying the farm animals and playing with her cousins. A chat with her grandfather teaches her that, though screen time can be good, it can also keep kids away from better things. Using simple language and beautiful illustrations, children ages 3–7 are introduced to the idea that technology is best enjoyed within boundaries. A TGC Kids book.

Free Download: 44 Activities for Kids That Don't Involve Screens

  • Makes A Great Gift for Kids Ages 3–7: The second book in a series of picture books from TGC Kids, which also includes Arlo and the Great Big Cover Up
  • A Fun Story with an Important Message: One of few books written for children about the influence of technology, it also addresses current issues of moral formation and discernment
  • Advice for Parents and Guardians: A “Note to Grown Ups” gives adults tips for how to help their children learn self-control and moderation in tech habits

About the Author

Betsy Childs Howard (MA, Beeson Divinity School) is an editor for the Gospel Coalition. She is the author of Arlo and the Great Big Cover-Up and Seasons of Waiting. Betsy lives with her family in Manhattan, where her husband pastors Good Shepherd Anglican Church.


“Technology―like any good tool―can go wrong when we become enslaved to it. This is a lesson today’s parents, as well as their children who are digital natives, need to hear often, and in many different ways. Polly and the Screen Time Overload is a fun, timely conversation starter for families who recognize that our media habits have as much to do with spiritual formation as they do with screen time.”
Brett McCracken, Senior Editor, The Gospel Coalition; author, The Wisdom Pyramid: Feeding Your Soul in a Post-Truth World

“Our children are surrounded by technology―TVs, computers, phones, video games, and tablets. Just like our children need guidance in choosing healthy foods over sugary snacks, they need help learning how to manage their consumption of screen time. Polly and the Screen Time Overload by Betsy Howard is a wonderful opportunity to start the conversation about technology with our children from a young age. With lovely illustrations and an insightful message, this book helps children (and their parents!) understand all the fun they may miss out on by spending too much time on screens.”
Melissa B. Kruger, Vice President of Discipleship Programming, The Gospel Coalition; author, Growing Together

Polly and the Screen Time Overload is an engaging and practical way to talk with children about screen time. My kiddos did not want the story to end! I’m grateful for a biblically faithful resource that winsomely reminds us to keep technology in its proper place.”
Hunter Beless, Founder, Journeywomen; author, Read It, See It, Say It, Sing It! and Amy Carmichael: The Brown-Eyed Girl Who Learned to Pray

“Trying to help kids understand the need for self-control regarding screens is hard. That's why I'm thankful for this new resource that provides a conversation starter with my kids in the form of an engaging story. This book is for any parent looking for a way to limit screens and also teach your children why you're taking the iPad away!”
Courtney Reissig, author, Teach Me to Feel and Glory in the Ordinary