A small boy finds a way to separate his family from their screens.
Thrilled that it’s finally summer, Ollie has big plans, but everyone in his family is too busy with screen-based activities to help him with his backyard fort. Day after day, he invites someone to share his outside play—his parents, his sister, his brother and his brother’s friends, even his grandparents—but no one comes. Only his dog, Lucy, will keep him company, playing catch, smelling the flowers, and watching the clouds. In desperation one evening, he refuses to come in for dinner. That finally drags them all outside. More exposition than narrative, this account isn’t meant to be a celebration of civil disobedience but a demonstration of the fun that can be had out-of-doors. The lesson is not subtle, but in case readers don’t understand, the cover shows Lucy burying electronic devices. Wolek’s animation-style illustrations show a dark-haired, brown-skinned family; Ollie’s brother plays video games with two kids, one black and one white. Three pages of “Tips for Parents and Caregivers” from the psychologist-author offer suggestions and guidelines for sensible ways to deal with the attractions of technology.
A message for parents ineffectively disguised as a story for young readers. (Picture book. 5-7)