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.)
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