A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dot. is a cute and clever picture book about a little girl learning to balance her time spent on screens (computer, laptop) and high-tech devices (smartphone, tablet) with free play outdoors. Written by Randi Zuckerberg, the sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the company's former marketing director, Dot. is published in tandem with Dot Complicated: Untangling Our Wired Lives, her book for adults. Dot. reminds kids -- and parents -- that technology can be a valuable tool but that kids also need time to play with friends, use their creativity, and be outside. Dot's a smart girl who's adept at using modern technology -- but also has a lot of imagination and leadership skills. The simple text makes this a good choice for a quick bedtime book.
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What's the story?
Dot, like a lot of little kids, is pretty good at technology, from swiping an iPad to FaceTiming with friends. But when she gets burned out from being plugged in too long, her mom urges her to go play outside. There she rediscovers the joys of running, painting, and being with friends.
Is it any good?
Zuckerberg cleverly contrasts Internet jargon such as "swipe," "search," and "share" with those verbs' original senses. For example, Dot "surfs" on a laptop and, later, uses her imagination to "surf" on a log outside her house. Some little kids might not understand all the tech terms -- such as "tweet" or "tag" -- but they'll get the point that Dot loves both technology and the wonders of fresh air and creative play.
Joe Berger's illustrations of Dot and her appropriately polka-dot pink dress, are warm and charming, and the picture of her dreamy, happy face when she feels fresh air again is simply priceless. Clever illustrations at the end showcase Dot blending her plugged-in and unplugged lives, such as sitting on a swing, using her phone to take a photo of her friends.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about which of Dot's activities -- both plugged-in and unplugged -- they like best.
How much time do you spend playing outside compared with sitting in front of a screen watching or playing a game? Which do you do more of? Which is more fun?
A dog appears on nearly every page. Parents can encourage their kids to find him -- and count him, too!
- Author: Randi Zuckerberg
- Illustrator: Joe Berger
- Genre: Picture Book
- Topics: Cats, dogs, and mice, Friendship, Great girl role models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
- Publication date: November 5, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 4 - 8
- Number of pages: 32
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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