FICTION

Doug Unplugs on the Farm

illus. by Dan Yaccarino. 40p. Knopf. 2014. lib. ed. $20.99. ISBN 9780385753296; Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780385753289; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780385753302. LC 2013039893.
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PreS-Gr 1—Doug returns, adding a new adventure to his list of exploits. In Doug Unplugged (Random, 2013), the small yellow robot with the wine-cork nose learned about urban living. Now, he is on his way to visit his grandbots, who live in farm country. While plugging into the car's computer system teaches him facts about the animals, it is only when an accident causes him to become unplugged that he takes part in hands-on experiences. Herding sheep, milking cows, gathering eggs, and picking apples are some of the new skills he attains. Appealing illustrations, created with brush and ink on vellum and Adobe Photoshop, show bright, bold, solid-colored objects on white space to create eye-catching scenes. Doug's childlike enthusiasm for helping while attempting and accomplishing new tasks is delightful. Yaccarino makes an excellent point: learning by doing as well as by studying makes for a well-rounded robot.—Maryann H. Owen, Children's Literature Specialist, Mt. Pleasant, WI
In this gently didactic story, Doug (Doug Unplugged), a robot from the city, gets to experience farm life firsthand after his family's car gets stuck in a ditch. He learns that pigs are smelly, fresh-picked apples are delicious, and being "unplugged" allows you to create stories worth sharing. The stylish, bold brush-and-ink and Photoshop illustrations recall retro Hanna-Barbera cartoons.

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