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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is important to read a book and understand it BEFORE posting your opinions here
I have spent a great deal of time considering what I would write here as a review for this book which I find very important.
First of all, a little bit about me: I'm a practicing pediatrician with 25 years experience who spends a lot of time trying to battle the issues with overuse of electronic devices and childhood obesity. I host an event in my town called...
Published 13 months ago by Greg S.

versus
72 of 89 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dot conflicted: a little child presented in tech terms—distressing.
It’s troubling how a cutesy clever-ish book can get it so wrong. You might wonder why a book for 4-8 year olds, intended to caution against too much tech, is based on a little girl (age 5 or 6) who is described as tech “obsessed” and “pays little attention to anything else.” Ask yourself, How can that be? Where are her parents? What parent...
Published 13 months ago by Raffi Cavoukian


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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is important to read a book and understand it BEFORE posting your opinions here, November 16, 2013
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This review is from: Dot. (Hardcover)
I have spent a great deal of time considering what I would write here as a review for this book which I find very important.
First of all, a little bit about me: I'm a practicing pediatrician with 25 years experience who spends a lot of time trying to battle the issues with overuse of electronic devices and childhood obesity. I host an event in my town called Playing Unplugged. Of course it is all about getting kids away from their electronic devices and back outside getting exercise. Last year we had almost 18,000 people come to this event.

Now, on to the book. What I find interesting here is the other reviews i have read, from people who obviously spend one minute looking at a book and then make a judgment. It is ridiculous that people decide to buy a book based on a few words written here. It's crazy that an author can often have a book be successful or not based on the opinions of others. Of course, that is the society in which we live.

You might ask me what I often think the purpose of a book is... any book. I think the best thing a book can do for us is to start a dialogue; to get a group of people together to talk about issues that were present in the book and expand them to what is going on in their own lives. A perfect example of this is book clubs. One of the greatest things going on in this country now is groups of people who get together after reading the same book to discuss them and the issues of the day. I think that's fantastic. My point in this is that I believe this particular book can start a dialogue as well. Of course it is a very simply written book for children. It is well-written and well illustrated but it is just a few short pages which helps to bring to light a very important topic: that of getting kids away from their electronic devices and back outside with a can explore the real world.

I think this book is very well worth purchasing and reading. I think it is a piece of literature that a parent can read to a child and then begin a dialogue about the real meaning. I think after reading this book it is the parents obligation to discuss it with the child and help that child understand what the author was trying to get across in her words and pictures.

Some of the other reviewers must have spent four seconds reading the book and then make comments here about how the author was glorifying the use of electronic devices. Nothing could be further from the truth. The book starts by showing us a lonely little girl who is spending her childhood in the realm of electronic era. The book ends with her out exploring the real world, using the things she has learned from those devices.

I don't want to make more out of it than it is because it is a very short book written at a child's level. But, what I'm asking you to is to buy this book, read it to your child, and then start the dialogue necessary between a parent and child about the importance of being outside and not being connected to the electronic world of the time.

I hope that this review will be of some value to you. In the end, I feel this book is worth purchasing and I hope the author will write future books to further help our children.

Thank you.
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72 of 89 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dot conflicted: a little child presented in tech terms—distressing., November 15, 2013
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This review is from: Dot. (Hardcover)
It’s troubling how a cutesy clever-ish book can get it so wrong. You might wonder why a book for 4-8 year olds, intended to caution against too much tech, is based on a little girl (age 5 or 6) who is described as tech “obsessed” and “pays little attention to anything else.” Ask yourself, How can that be? Where are her parents? What parent would allow a very young child to use InfoTech without supervision, as Dot is doing throughout this book? Why does the front cover show her holding an iPad?

The book’s ill-conceived outline shows a girl whose indoor life is lived alone and with shiny tech devices that little kids don’t own. She apparently does not sing, read, or play with toys inside. Dot is pictured with a cellphone next to her ear, something that doctors such as Sanjay Gupta of CNN advise is not safe for young kids. What’s more, a 6 year old does not “share” online as Dot is pictured to be doing on a laptop. (The author, a former Facebook executive, should know better to suggest this.) A little girl, unsupervised, would be vulnerable to various online threats.

On the pages where Dot is indoors and “loves to talk, and talk, and talk,” she is alone with IT devices. There’s no one else there. Why are there no adults pictured in the book? Why is all that Dot knows described in tech terms—is her vocabulary that thin? And does Dot really engage nothing but tech while indoors? While outdoors, why are her activities described with tech words?

This book presents little children as “tech savvy” iKids, as if this is what they need to be. The concept is flawed and lacking in knowledge of early developmental needs. The smiles on Dot’s face are deceiving; she passes out from tech overdose! Is this a laudable way to approach tech moderation?
a) a little child (with a tech name) is presented as a tech whiz
b) this under-age child is unsupervised online & with InfoTech devices
c) she doesn’t know any screen limits while indoors
d) she lacks the supportive presence of caregivers
These are among the distressing problems with a book concept that should not have made its way to print.

Tech dependence and addiction from a young age are a worry, as I mention in my book, Lightweb Darkweb. InfoTech is not just another tool; it’s a very powerful technology designed for adults, not for kids. That’s why it’s so important to look closely at what’s offered here. Parents might consider what is to be gained by reading this book to their children; they might, on reflection, reject its false representations.

For a timely book on the impact of InfoTech on childhood, read The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood And Family Relationships In The Digital Age, by Harvard psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair. Her excellent insights can help parents to address the real needs of the very young.
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45 of 57 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this book for many reasons!, November 9, 2013
This review is from: Dot. (Hardcover)
I am an early child development researcher. I strongly discourage anyone from purchasing (and hence supporting) this book for the following reasons:

(1) Just because information technology has proliferated our society does not mean it is natural, healthy, or appropriate for young children in Dot's age range (4-8 years) to be mindlessly playing with smart phones or tablets. It is irresponsible to convey the message that it is a productive use of young children's time, when it is so obviously not.

The plot twist where Dot's parent requests her to go outside to 'recharge' seems at first glance to be a nod to the importance of tech moderation or 'balance'. But, in doing so, Zuckerberg implies, first, that Dot's information technology use is ok so long as it's done indoors only (wrong!) and, second, that young children should have access to information technology in the first place (also wrong!).

(2) As parents, our job is to shield young children from information technology in the early years of life, not encourage it. Just where does Dot get her tech devices? She cannot afford them on her own, so her parent must be purchasing them for her. This sets the wrong precedent about our role as parents of young children: Parents as addiction enablers, not protectors.

(3) Today's technology will not be tomorrow's. There is absolutely no 'leg up' given by providing young children access to information technology that will soon be obsolete.

(4) It is unbelievable that an author thinks it's a good idea to convey the message that Dot can only effectively interact with the outside world using the skills she's gained by playing with her smart phone and tablet. In fact, a growing body of research shows clearly that children's ability to interact with and enjoy nature is undermined by tech use, not assisted.

(5) Finally, there is a clear message sent that Dot is merely tolerating her outdoor play and time with real friends until her parent (unseen, by the way) lets her back indoors to once again feed her addiction to tech devices. There is so much wrong with this, I don't even know where to start.

Want a better purchase? Try Raffi Cavoukian's book "Lightweb Darkweb" (Lightweb Darkweb Reasons Reform Re Forms He talks about these very issues, and many more, there.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What did Dot actually learn?, November 13, 2013
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This review is from: Dot. (Hardcover)
This book is problematic on several levels.

To start with, it is written more for a 2-year-old in a way that undermines the intelligence of a child who is 4-8.

But the content is not appropriate for a 2-year-old - or for a 4-8-year-old-child either. It is concerning that Dot holds a device in her hand during most of the book. It felt like an advertisement for Apple products - which we as parents will pay for in a variety of ways throughout the lives of our children.

Children should be children. Outdoor play and interacting with other kids should be the foundation for childhood. Starting them on tech devices at such a young age is not healthy for their development, the environment or their overall health.

My daughter (who is in the suggested age category) read the book as well. She said it was "too easy" - but did like the pictures.

The book ends with these lines:

"This is Dot. She's learned a lot."

I was left wondering, "What did Dot actually learn?"
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22 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dot… NOT a positive book for children!, November 7, 2013
This review is from: Dot. (Hardcover)
As a mother of 2 young boys and former environmental educator for kids I would not recommend this book for children of any age, especially for the suggested age of 4-8 year olds.

The book is very colorful and cute looking, yes. However, the message is not cute and paints a very dark and bleak picture about children today and our future if this is so. Dot supposedly learned a lot but I beg to differ. What did Dot really learn?
I wish she had learned that being outside and being with her friends in the real world was more rewarding. This story doesn’t adequately address whether Dot learned something about being obsessed with tech devices at such a young age. I don’t know any 6 year old who has such free reign with so many tech devices and, even worse, goes unsupervised. Is this really what our world has come to? I think not, and the idea of suggesting something so absurd is upsetting to me.

Please do not buy this book as a gift, thinking you are doing a good thing for a child. This story offers nothing about teaching tech moderation (for older children) and only introduces a problem to younger children who shouldn’t even be struggling with it. If you know of children with this issue at such a young age, it would be more beneficial to speak to their parents and suggest they do some reading on how to say no regarding too much tech time. Every child development expert will tell you that young kids should be exploring the real interactive world and learning real social skills to better their future—especially so during the formative years. Clearly the author did not consult with any child development experts.

Please think twice before buying this book and exposing it to young children. Buyer beware!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disconnect from wifi before giving any child a wireless device, November 16, 2013
This review is from: Dot. (Hardcover)
Randi, we all appreciate that childhood is such a brief moment in the life of a human. I do not doubt your intentions are noble, but I would urge you to prepare an afterword for all your readers that advises on the need to take basic precautions in using any electronic media with young children. the American Academy of Pediatrics and governments of many nations are advising that infotech and young children can be a toxic combination. As you know, parents hold and touch and teach their children through direct contact. We now understand that there are physiological reasons why Infants and toddlers respond best to direct physical contact. Their brains are not fully myelinated. This means that their neurons are not protected. The brains of infants more than double in the first years of growth and they learn by eye contact with human beings. We provide helmets and seat belts to protect the young brain. The notion that it is a good idea to expose young brains and bodies to wireless radiating devices has no foundation in science at this time. Please help us get the word out: responsible parentings means judicious and limited use of these devices. For starters, no child should be given a wireless device when it is connected to the wifi. Download materials first, disconnect from wifi, and then hand to a child for their amusement.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another piece of trash aimed at young children., November 15, 2013
This review is from: Dot. (Hardcover)
Another piece of trash aimed at young children. Not worthy of comment, except that it panders to an audience of irresponsible parents with "plugged-in" children.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars adorably cute and the message is sound, November 25, 2013
This review is from: Dot. (Hardcover)
I had the opportunity to get my hands on an Art Not Final Advanced copy of Dot. and then later a real deal hardcover by social media expert Randi Zuckerberg and I am intrigued and overall delighted. At first I was hesitant reading it as we do not really allow our littles into technology - no matter how cute or easily they pick it up. However, this book is adorably cute and the message is sound. Yes, learn and play with the tech, but then go unplug! Very modern and appropriate for this generation.

Edit to add: After posting my review I went and read some other reviews and feel like I need to add more to my thoughts to share. In my experience with this book I do not find it to be Dot abandoned and left alone with only technology for entertainment. I see it as her imagination running wild imitating what she sees from the world around her as in her world (with a social media guru parent!) technology is definitely around and available. But the overall message of the book is not "oh look what this young child can do" it's the fact that even with technology getting outside, playing classic games, and with friends is even more important and fun is to be found.

It is my opinion reading the overall negative reviews, that the idea of technology with a child has hit a nerve and I'm not sure those reviewers got even past the first half of the book. The "overall" message is definitely sound. Go play!

I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it. I received no other compensation for this review. The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions. Your experience may vary. Please read my full disclosure policy for more details.
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20 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A book that celebrates digital technology for young children, while pretending not to., November 5, 2013
This review is from: Dot. (Hardcover)
As a parent, grandparent, former primary school teacher and consultant, I am distressed by a book that starts with the assumption that 4-8 year olds are already hooked on digital technology. Have things gotten so out of hand? Why does Dot's mother wait until her child collapses under the burden of her adult devices before intervening? Why does this little girl have all these expensive toys in the first place? Why isn't she outside playing with her friends - period?

There is no reason for us to think that digital devices are good for young children, so why let them have them?

The message here seems to be that it's ok for a very young kid to be addicted to laptops, smart phones and tablets, as long as Mom comes along once in a while and sends her outside. (Although Dot manages to take her phone outside with her. Does Mom know?) The book is clearly biased toward more and more technology for children, and even uses tech words (tap, touch, swipe, tweet…) to describe Dot's outdoor activities. I imagine that the marketing people at Apple and Twitter will love it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars So clever, January 3, 2014
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This review is from: Dot. (Hardcover)
Beautifully illustrated, timely with a good message! I could hardly wait to get this for my 6 year old who can read most of it herself.
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Dot.
Dot. by Randi Zuckerberg (Hardcover - November 5, 2013)
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