Yaccarino, Dan. 2013. DOUG UNPLUGGED. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 9780375966439 [Suggested Grade Levels P-2]
In this delightful picture book, Doug the robot lives with his parents in the city. Since they want him to be the smartest little robot, Doug’s parents plug him into the computer every morning for his daily downloads. While he learns a lot of facts about his city, Doug’s real learning takes place when he unplugs to take an unscheduled trip around town. He discovers many things not mentioned in his downloads, such as cool water on a hot day feels refreshing and subways are noisy when they make turns. Before the end, Doug even learns how to play games at the park and eagerly shares his new knowledge with his family.
Dan Yaccarino’s unique retro illustrations perfectly complement this story of a robot exploring the city. Through the use of a few bold colors and dark lines, the pages pop with energy and movement. Observant readers will enjoy city facts written in the computer grid, but the real fun starts when Doug decides to unplug. Young children will thoroughly enjoy Doug’s journey around his city, especially when he meets a friend who teaches him how to play. This little robot’s enthusiasm relates well with readers that understand the importance of learning more than just facts. A sequel about Doug’s trip to a farm will be published soon.
This is an excellent book for story time and a discussion about communities or making new friends. Consider sharing other titles with retro-inspired illustrations for an art lesson.
Other picture books written or illustrated by Dan Yaccarino:
Dyckman, Ame. BOY + BOT. ISBN 9780375867569
Yaccarino, Dan. EVERY FRIDAY. ISBN 9781250004734
Yaccarino, Dan. LAWN TO LAWN. ISBN 9780375855740
By Kimberly C. Kinnaird