Blip, a boxy little robot, loves plugging herself into her computer all day long.
Her cord connects her to a big screen that offers learning apps, blinking games, catchy music, and even pictures of lush landscapes. When a blackout and a tumble down the stairs somersault Blip out the front door, she’s suddenly in the gauzy light of the natural world. The small robot reels. Inside Blip’s house it’s dark—just stark blacks and whites. Outside, soft, spring pigments paint grassy hills, curvy tree trunks, scattered flowers, furry creatures, and a winding, sky-blue stream. Flipping back, readers might notice that Blip’s daily computer activity is depicted in vignettes that move incrementally across the page in linear rows, with square pixels assembling to generate crude computer-screen visuals. Blip’s dramatic immersion into the varied, curvy, colorful outdoors nudges readers to compare the two settings. Blip’s real-life play mirrors her virtual-play activities, except it now burbles with immediacy, spontaneity, and interactive fun with new, adorable animal friends (a wide-eyed bunny and baby-faced duck). Will Blip plug back in at the end of the day? Readers may doubt it, as they’ve decided to stay unplugged a little more themselves.
A gentle catalyst for crucial conversations about balancing digital diversions with real-life play as well as an introduction to self-guided critical thinking. (Picture book. 3-6)