Inspired by Dan Yaccarino’s new picture book Doug Unplugged about a young robot who discovers that the real world trumps the virtual, Random House is promoting their Unplug & Read campaign during Screen-Free Week (April 29 – May 5). (On the Internet. I know. The irony. But while most adults can’t escape the daily use of computers for work, your children can escape the use of glowing screens for a week.)
“A lot of us spend much of our day in front of one kind of screen or another and we can sometimes lose sight that these screens only reflect life, and that there’s a big, beautiful world out there full of real experiences, people and places,” says author Dan Yaccarino. “My goal with DOUG UNPLUGGED is to show that it’s okay to UNPLUG once in a while and learn about our world using all of our senses.”
Screen-Free Week is the annual celebration from the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) that encourages turning off screens and turning on life. CCFC’s Screen-Free Week is a creative response to growing public health concerns about the unprecedented time children spend with entertainment screen media—television, computers, video games, and smart phones. Studies show that Preschoolers spend as much as 4.1 to 4.6 hours per day using screen media. Including multi-tasking, children 8 to 18 spend 7.5 hours per day with screens. Unplugging for one week provides an opportunity to reset media habits, establishing a healthy, sustainable tradition of media consumption in households and schools.
Other authors participating in Random House’s campaign include Tad Hills, who drew the poster to the left featuring his character Rocket from How Rocket Learned to Read. Listen to what author/illustrators have to say about going screen free: