Tek: The Modern Cave Boyby Patrick McDonnell
Here is a hilarious (and heartfelt) reminder of how technology can take us backward...all the way to the times of prehistoric man!/b>
Is it a book...or an electronic tablet? From bestselling author and Caldecott honoree Patrick McDonnell comes a timely tale in a tablet-shaped package that's perfect for today's legions of device-obsessed, digital-savvy children.
Here is a hilarious (and heartfelt) reminder of how technology can take us backward...all the way to the times of prehistoric man! Tek is a cave boy in love with tech: his tablet, videogames, phone, and TV keep him deep in his cave, glued to his devices, day in and day out. He never sees his friends or family anymore--and his ability to communicate has devolved to just one word: "UGH!" Can anyone in the village convince Tek to unplug and come outside into the big, beautiful world?
A distinctive, digitally-inspired package and design cleverly evokes the experience of using an electronic device that eventually shuts down...and after a magic page turn, Tek reconnects with the real world.
McDonnell (Thank You and Goodnight) plays fast and loose with the historical record in this playful cautionary tale about the perils of technology obsession. Tek is a cave boy with a beard—“everything was kind of hairy back then.” Although his father hasn’t invented fire just yet, he has invented the Internet, and Tek stays “alone in his cave room, glued to his phone, his tablet, and his game box, all day, all night, all the time.” The book’s design and dimensions mimic that of an iPad, complete with signal bars, a home button, and a (rapidly depleting) battery life indicator. Tek’s online time leaves him ignorant of life outside; he makes up names for dinosaurs such as flying idontgiveadactyl, and misses the sledding and snowball fights of the Ice Age completely. Only a volcanic explosion shocks him out of his stupor. McDonnell’s ever-cute creatures deliver the story’s tech-addiction message with a grin, and clever references abound, from the fish that crawls up on land and evolves into a fanged cat to the buffering icon that accompanies Tek’s “reboot.” Ages 4–8. Agent: Henry Dunow, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. (Oct.)
*"McDonnell (Thank You and Goodnight) plays fast and loose with the historical record in this playful cautionary tale...ever-cute creatures deliver the story's tech-addiction message with a grin, and clever references abound."
Publishers Weekly, starred review
"McDonnell blends the prehistoric with the present to send a clever reminder to young readers that beyond their electronic realm there is a world waiting to be explored.... Good, snarky fun for parents and kids."
"The style and whimsy of the images are...charming."
School Library Journal
"Fun and lively."
The New York Times Book Review
Praise for Thank You and Good Night:
A Publishers Weekly Best Picture Book of 2015
A BCCB Best Children's Book of 2015
*"This picture book's satisfyingly soft illustrations...feel just right for its plush language and darling characters and content....Small listeners will nestle deep under their covers feeling thankful for tender books that make bedtime a pleasure."
Kirkus Reviews, starred review
*"The book's simplicity, gentle rhythms, and easy patterns make it perfect for bedtime reading....Youngsters who love their stuffed animals will particularly latch onto this, and parents who want to promote nocturnal tranquility (or those with their own fond memories of Pooh Bear) will appreciate this little gem as well."BCCB, starred review
*"A book that readers of all ages will be thankful for."Publishers Weekly, starred review
*"This delightful bedtime story extols the virtues of friendship and of being grateful for simple pleasures."School Library Journal, starred review
PreS-Gr 2—Tek, a so-called "modern" cave boy, lives among dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures. He spends all his time engaging with technology, and neither his parents, his friends, nor his tribe's leaders can get him to do anything outside the cave. Only when Big Poppa volcano erupts and destroys Tek's tech does the cave boy interact with the world. The book is cleverly designed to appear as though readers are viewing it on a tablet screen for most of the story; once Tek's devices are destroyed, the tablet-style borders on the pages disappear and the illustrations become full bleed. While the style and whimsy of the images are as charming as expected from this Caldecott honoree, the tone is less so; this offering feels more like a nagging finger wag about using technology than a fun Stone Age tale. McDonnell has overshot the satirical tone he appears to have been aiming for and instead comes off as another adult lamenting kids these days and their technology. VERDICT Though it's lovely to look at, this picture book misses the mark with its story.—Amy Koester, Skokie Public Library, IL
McDonnell has a bone to pick with a young Stone Age gamer who won’t leave the family cave.The Caldecott Honor–winning cartoonist takes an uncharacteristically curmudgeonly tone in this tablet-shaped book. Depicted, in black-framed, rounded-cornered illustrations designed to look like screenshots, in front of the stone TV with tablet and game controller to hand “all day, all night, all the time,” Tek ignores the pleas of his huge dino best friend, Larry, and all others to come out. “You should never have invented the Internet,” his mom grunts to his dad. Having missed out on evolution and an entire Ice Age, Tek is finally disconnected by a helpful volcano’s eruption—and of course is completely reformed once he gets a gander at the warm sun, cool grass, and an “awesome Awesomesaurus.” “Sweet.” Afterward, in joyous full-bleed paintings, he frolics with Larry by day and reaches for the “glorious stars” by night. This screed is as subtle as a tap from a stone axe. James Proimos’ Todd’s TV (2010) and If You Give a Mouse an iPhone by “Ann Droyd” (2014) are funnier; Matthew Cordell’s buoyant Hello! Hello! (2012) is more likely to spark a bit of behavior change. Tek and his parents are reminiscent of the Flintstones, with pink skin and dark, frizzy hair. The outing may earn a few clicks from hand-wringing parents; young digerati will roll their eyes and go back to texting. (Picture book. 6-8)
- Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 7.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)
- Age Range:
- 4 - 8 Years
Meet the Author
Patrick McDonnell is the creator of Thank You and Good Night, A Perfectly Messed-Up Story, The Monsters' Monster, and Me...Jane, a Caldecott Honor Book. He is also the creator of the internationally syndicated comic strip Mutts, which inspired his picture books The Gift of Nothing, Hug Time, and others. He lives in New Jersey.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This book looks exactly like a *famous* electronic device! Tek is the kid who is on his device all day and is missing out on the wonders of the world. An eye-opening, funny, read aloud!