BooksForKidsBlog

Monday, May 21, 2018

Upgrade and Unplug! Doll-E 1.0 by Shanda McCloskey

Charlotte was not one of those little girls who dote on dollies and tea sets.

Charlotte's head was always in the clouds.

No, not those fluffy clouds in blue skies. Charlotte's favorite clouds are the data-storage sort.

Charlotte is a techno-cyber-whiz who prefers downloads to dolls, coding to cuddling plush critters, and virtual reality goggles to giggly tea parties. Even her little dog is named Blutooth.

Mom doesn't know where Charlotte got her consuming interest in IT, but she is happy for her help with all their internet-enabled devices.

Still, Mom feels that Charlotte needs more experience interacting with actual reality--so she gets her a doll and doll stroller to play with.

"Are there instructions?" asked Charlotte.

"I was thinking you could play house or doctor with it," said Mom.

But no matter what commands Charlotte gives her, Doll-E just sits there with the same silly smile on her face. But when Charlotte puts the doll down, it speaks.

"MA-MA!

"I'm not your MAMA!" Charlotte says.

Investigating the source of the voice, Charlotte discovers something she recognizes--a panel in the doll's back with batteries and wiring inside. At last! Here's something she can hack! Charlotte's brain goes into hyperdrive.

"I know! I could run an update on you! It's going to be awesome!"

Charlotte works on her program all night and at last Doll-E is ready for the installation.

"HELLO. MY NAME IS DOLL-E 1.0!"

And with Charlotte with the controller and Doll-E fitted with the proper electrodes in her helmet, the two are ready to walk the dog outside, with Doll-E pulled in her stroller by Blutooth, in Shanda McCloskey's brand-new debut picture book, Doll-E 1.0 (Little, Brown, 2018).

Charlotte is an engaging little girl techno-geek, resourceful and inventive, drolly portrayed by first-time author-illustrator Shanda McCloskey, who appropriately combines her comic pencil and watercolor drawings with Photoshop digital artistry in the creation of the her little technical wizard and her new, updated techie toy. Says School Library Journal, " McCloskey's picture book debut is not one to miss. A fun addition."

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