Doug is back, and he’s ready for hands-on fun and learning down on the farm.
During a drive to visit his “grandbots,” Mom and Dad tell Doug to “plug in” so that he “can learn all about farms on the way.” In the following spread, he learns several things that end up coming in handy as the story progresses. His screen time in the car is interrupted when a herd of sheep runs into the road in front of them, forcing the car into a ditch. Luckily, the robot family is unharmed, but they are all unplugged. Doug is delighted by this development, and he draws on his screen knowledge that “sheep tend to follow each other” to quickly aid the farm girl in rounding up her sheep. He draws on his screen knowledge to help with other tasks as well, and then he ends up learning new things about cows, hay, apple picking and such animals as ducklings, pigs and roosters through ensuing hands-on learning. Yaccarino’s flat, retro-futuristic compositions utilize unmodulated matte colors and sharp edges to create a world in which a robot boy interacts with human girls, spare use of curving lines investing organic creatures with warmth; the cow that turns her head to lick Doug as he milks her is a very model of mammalian contentment.
A fine farm story that doubles nicely as a lesson about experiential learning. (Picture book. 3-7)