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'Doug Unplugs on the Farm' by Dan Yaccarino: Picture book about real learning

Nothing beats learning by doing
courtesy of Knopf Books for Young Readers

Doug Unplugs on the Farm by Dan Yaccarino


"Doug Unplugs on the Farm" by Dan Yaccarino sends a message we all approve of: sometimes you just have to turn off the TV and the computer and learn by doing something in real life.

Doug, a robot, and his robot parents are going to visit the grandbots. On the way, his parents tell him to plug in so he can learn all about farms on the computer while they are passing real farms.

And just as Doug is learning about how dogs can herd sheep, a real herd of sheep run into the road and their car runs into a ditch. Everyone becomes unplugged.

Not only does Doug help the farmgirl round up the sheep, he helps her with all her chores. He knows that milk comes from cows, but he gets to milk a cow in real life. And he also gets to pick apples and smell farmyard smells.

And even when their car is back on the road, thanks to some quick thinking on Doug's part, he decides not to plug in. He is thinking of the stories he'll have to tell his grandbots.

This book would be wonderful for parents and teachers to use when discussing the difference between learning about something online and learning about something by doing it.

For example, you can read about mixing paints and getting other colors from red, yellow and blue, but actually doing the mixing allows kids to experiment and see all the variations of colors.

It's also a great tool to use when telling kids to put away the smart phone or computer. "Unplug," parents or teachers can say, "Just like Doug."

This book is the second in the "Doug Unplugged" series.

Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by the publisher, Knopf Books for Young Readers, for review purposes.

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