Sunday, August 17, 2014

Doug Unplugged by Dan Yacarrino

Doug Unplugged by Dan Yacarrino

Rating: 5 stars

We picked up and checked out Doug Unplugged by one of our favorite authors, Dan Yacarrino, yesterday.  I read it four times in about six hours.  A curious thing happens when I start reading it to one of my kids: the other two hear me and come over.  Did Dan Yacarrino install a kid-magnet in this book or something??

I love this book--just love it!  I love the message it sends to kids and grown ups alike, and I think Yacarrino tells this message in the most perfect way.

So we've got Doug.  He's a robot.  Every morning his parents plug him into a giant machine to teach him facts and figures.  They want him to be the smartest robot around.  After they've plugged him in, they pat him on his head, walk away, and go to work.

And he really does learn a lot!  Today's lessons focus on the city.  Doug learns how many manholes are in the city.  Doug learns how many emergencies firefighters respond to every day.  Doug learns how tall the highest skyscraper is.  Doug learns how many miles of subway tracks exist.  Doug learns how many pigeons live in the city.

Here's all that Doug learns by unplugging and exploring the city...
Then, something interrupts all this learning.  A pigeon.  A real, live pigeon.  His first observation: he didn't know they cooed like that.  Doug stretches to follow the pigeon and SNAP! Doug unplugged! He is now unattached from his learning machine. He looks at the pigeon and wonders what else he can learn from actually experiencing the city.  So he follows the pigeon (a jet-pack is handy here) out over and then into the city.

From his exploration, he learns that manholes are dark.  Fire engines are loud!  Skyscrapers are so tall they offer a fantastic view of the city. Subways zip through those miles and you have to hang on extra tight around the curves. He even meets a friend, and learns how to play--including how many ways there are to play! Teeter-totters!  Smelling flowers!  Slides! Hide and go seek!  Swinging!

Doug learns not from words or books or downloads but from being there.  Experiencing it.  Using his senses.  What a great message, especially for this tired mom at the end of a jam-packed summer: Unplug.  Go outside and roam.  There is so, so much to experience and learn!

(A sequel to this book called Doug Unplugged at the Farm was released just three weeks ago...will try to get my hands on it! Read all of my reviews of Dan Yacarrino's books HERE.  My favorite is Every Friday.)

No comments:

Post a Comment