Monday, October 7, 2013

Unplug!

Here’s good advice for all of us. A child robot is my inspiration.

DOUG UNPLUGGED by Dan Yaccarino, Alfred A. Knopf, 2013

Doug is a robot. His parents want him to be the smartest robot ever.
 
Every day when Mom and Dad, also robots, pick up their briefcases and head out the door, they wish Doug, “Happy downloading,” and plug him in.  Facts about cities are filling Doug’s files when he sees a pigeon at his window. He has just learned there are 500 million pigeons in his city and this one starts him wondering if…off he goes, out the window, to see what he can see. In short, Doug unplugs.

What does Doug learn? How does he use what he already knows? What does he discover? Is the ending a happy one? I’ll answer that last question: YES! You’ll have to read the book to answer the others. Whether you read this with or without a toddler on your lap, there is a lesson here. I’ll leave it to you to find it.

Once again author/illustrator Dan Yaccarino breaks down the greatest complications of life into a story that’s not only fresh and compelling but carries a message straight to the heart, bypassing the inner critic that takes delight in spoiling fun. 

When you visit Yaccarinostudio.com—and you must!—click on books. Doug is in the upper left hand corner, holding a plug in his hand. You’ll tap your feet to the music in his trailer every time you watch.    

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