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)