From 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 andreal-life experiences.-Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CTα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Yaccarino’s gentle humor, whimsy, and panache is on full display in this picture book celebrating the difference between virtual and real-life learning. Young Doug is a robot who is plugged in by his parents every morning so that he can absorb as many facts as possible. Happy downloading, his dad calls as he heads to work, leaving Doug to learn all about cities. What looks like it might be a tale of parental pressure on young students instead turns into a cheerful story of discovery. Doug has no sooner downloaded vital statistics about pigeons when he sees a live one on the windowsill. Bot follows bird, and the fun begins. Yaccarino’s illustrations are deceptively simple in their generous use of primary colors and bold lines; they invest the story with tangible vibrancy. The expression of sheer joy as Doug, all wide-mouthed enthusiasm, scatters a flock of pigeons or plays with a new friend is enough to convince any reader that unscripted learning is still the most satisfying way to plug into the world around us. Preschool-Grade 1. --Kara Dean