Reviews

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Married actors Smith and Thiessen take playful aim at cellphone-addicted caregivers in this exclamation point-filled debut. During a father-son outing to the park, a boy's dad remains glued to his phone despite the increasingly unusual things happening nearby. A roller-skating dog walker loses control of his mutts, a butterfly leads the boy-and a new friend, whose mother is also attached to her screen-to a grounded egg that hatches into a baby bird. "You're missing it!" the yellow-haired boy shouts to his dad after each incident. Finally, a sneezing purple rhinoceros evades its catcher, the whole ensemble (dog walker, dogs, baby bird, rhino) joins in the boy's refrain, and the butterfly lands on the father's nose. Happily, the dad sees what he's been missing and casts his phone aside. As the two run off together, the butterfly lands on the boy's friend, perhaps beginning the journey toward attentiveness anew. Smith's bold pen-and-watercolor illustrations pop with tropical hues that aptly emphasize how vibrant the real world is when compared to a screen. A refreshing and opportune reminder to put down the phone and eye the butterflies. Ages 3-5. (Apr.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

One day at the park, a dad is fixated on his phone; "You're missing it!" his young son, surrounded by park excitement, yells more than once. What's it going to take to snap Dad out of it? Although the book's ending is lackluster, the put-down-your-phone message is solid. Fittingly, the cartoony, spring-toned art was created without digital interference. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Modern-day life tethered to a cellphone prevents caregivers from enjoying the park's natural beauty, observing the unexpected, and reacting to their children's discoveries. It is a clear, bright spring day, and two children are enjoying the wonder of it all. Dogs run amok and upset their walker as they chase squirrels; flowers drop from a local vendor's cart; there's a newly hatched baby bird, a fluttering butterfly. A little boy wants his father to experience it all with him, but Dad is too busy, never looks up, buried in his screen. "You're missing it!" shouts the boy as his frustration grows over his father's unresponsiveness. But a little girl whose mother is equally absorbed with her phone begins a conversation, and boy and girl share the park's happenings. And thenan escaped rhino from the zoo galumphs through, knocking Dad's phone from his hand and forcing a sudden shocked awareness that results in a loving hug between father and son. " See, Dad?' Oh, yes! I do. I see.' " The humorous cartoon artwork enfolds the sparse narrative in a vibrant atmosphere, completing a message that may be more pertinent for the adult sharing the story than a child reader. The protagonist presents white, and his new friend is a girl of color with afro-puff pigtails. Distressingly, her mother, a woman of color, never looks up, rhino or no rhino.A timely comment on technology's drawbacks in today's society. (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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