Doug Unplugged by Dan Yaccarino

Doug is a little robot whose adoring robot parents try their best to make him the smartest robot ever, by literally plugging him to a giant computer daily to fill him with lots and lots of facts. Of course, what they don’t realise, and which Doug discovers serendipitously, is that sometimes, you gain much more when you’re plugged into real life, rather than downloading it via a wire.

As you can probably tell, I’m a huge fan of Dan Yaccarino’s retro-modern illustrations, as well as the way he showcases them to striking effect with a limited colour palette; so, needless to say, I absolutely love the delightful illustrations in this book.

I also really like how the clever story is relatable on so many levels: to children, by urging them to make time to venture outdoors and be open to new experiences and friendships; to parents, by cautioning them that kids who know everything but who are cooped up at home and deprived of time to play freely, will probably end up a human robot who is devoid of creativity and social skills; and, of course, to everyone addicted to the digital realm in general (*cough*), by not-so-subtly reminding them to “unplug” themselves from their devices and make time for old-fashioned pleasures and real connections with loved ones.

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