Doug Unplugged

Doug Unplugged

5.0 1
by Dan Yaccarino
     
 

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Doug is a robot. His parents want him to be smart, so each morning they plug him in and start the information download. After a morning spent learning facts about the city, Doug suspects he could learn even more about the city by going outside and exploring it. And so Doug . . . unplugs. What follows is an exciting day of adventure and discovery. Doug learns amazing… See more details below

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Overview

Doug is a robot. His parents want him to be smart, so each morning they plug him in and start the information download. After a morning spent learning facts about the city, Doug suspects he could learn even more about the city by going outside and exploring it. And so Doug . . . unplugs. What follows is an exciting day of adventure and discovery. Doug learns amazing things by doing and seeing and touching and listening—and above all, by interacting with a new friend.

Dan Yaccarino's funny story of robot rebellion is a great reminder that sometimes the best way to learn about the world is to go out and be in it.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Michael Agger
His illustration style can roughly be described as Art Deco meets Mad Men: fedoras, solid shapes, bold lines. But Yaccarino isn't trendy or simplistic. He's especially good at slipping in the small, nourishing details that are savored upon repeated readings…[Doug Unplugged is] a sweet tale, and true to the anti-technology, analog strain that runs through much of Yaccarino's work.
Publishers Weekly
Doug, a robot child who’s a cross between Elroy Jetson and Rolie Polie Olie, plugs a cable into his belly button to process information. Marching out the door with their briefcases, his automaton parents wish him “Happy downloading!” Against a motherboard backdrop, readers see Doug accessing numerical data about his urban area (“There are 8,175,133.5 people living in the city”), until he notices an actual pigeon on his high-rise windowsill. A red jet-pack strapped to his back, Doug detaches from his electronic tether to join the pigeons and human crowds outside (“Doug knew that skyscrapers had strong steel frames.... But he was amazed by the view from the top of one! He could see everything!”). Ponder-ing how a seesaw works, Doug meets a human boy who asks, “Want to play?” This “wasn’t in any of his downloads,” and Doug learns about unquantifiable fun. Yaccarino’s (All the Way to America) streamline-smooth illustrations—bright blocks of color defined by swooping black lines—conjure a playful contemporary environment; without preaching, he comments smartly on children’s screen time and the necessity of outdoor play and exploration. Ages 5–9. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—In a world in which human and robot families live together, Doug is a robot. As his parents leave for work, they plug him in so he can download lots of facts. One day, while learning about the big city, he decides to unplug from his program and experience it firsthand. With his red power pack allowing him to fly, he scatters a flock of pigeons and zooms up to the top of a skyscraper to view his surroundings. He explores the subway; walks among people on the crowded streets; and experiences other sights, sounds, and smells. He plays with a human boy in the park. Best of all, he now knows how to show his mother and father he loves them by greeting them with a big hug, just as his new friend did when he was reunited with his parents. Doug is an engaging, bright-yellow child with a black antenna sprouting from the top of his head. Computer-circuit spreads on muted backgrounds indicate his robotic nature while he is home. Yaccarino uses bright, solid colors and lots of white space for Doug's unplugged exploration scenes to illustrate his childlike exuberance as he finally takes part in the world around him. This charming title shows the importance of balance between virtual and real-life experiences.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
Kirkus Reviews
A little robot boy goes on an urban adventure. Each morning, Doug's parents plug him in so that he can download lots of facts and become "the smartest robot ever." On the second spread, Doug sits atop a stool, plugged into a computer that looks like ENIAC, with the goal of learning all about the city. He waves goodbye to his parents as they walk off the verso, briefcases in hand, presumably headed off to work. The next page opening has the appearance of a circuit board or retro video game screen, with a tiny picture of plugged-in Doug in the upper-left corner. The spread is designed like a map through everything he is to learn that day, complete with a yellow line highlighting his planned path to various points, with facts about taxis, fountains, skyscrapers, pigeons and so on. When Doug sees a real pigeon on his windowsill, he decides to unplug and venture out to learn about the city in person. He encounters everything from the screen, but the best part of his adventure comes when he befriends a boy in the park. They play together until the boy realizes he doesn't know where his parents are, and then Doug helps reunite them--only to decide he wants to go home, following the classic home-away-home story arc. Yaccarino's retro palette and style suit this robot tale to a T. A lively, colorful celebration of unmediated living. (Picture book. 3-5)
From the Publisher
"A gentle robotic rebellion." —USA Today

A sweet tale . . . Yaccarino [is] especially good at slipping in the small, nourishing details that are savored upon repeated readings." —The New York Times

"Yaccarino uses bright, solid colors and lots of white space for Doug's unplugged exploration scenes to illustrate his childlike exuberance as he finally takes part in the world around him." —School Library Journal 

"A lively, colorful celebration of unmediated living." —Kirkus Reviews

"Bright blocks of color defined by swooping black lines—conjure a playful contemporary environment; without preaching, he comments smartly on children’s screen time and the necessity of outdoor play and exploration." —Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375866432
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
02/12/2013
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
629,773
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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