PPBF Unplugged – Ella Gets Her Family Back by Laura Pedersen

11 Jan

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because this is an important topic in our family. I like spending time “unplugged” and with my family.

unpluggedUnplugged – Ella Gets Her Family Back

By Laura Pedersen

Illustrated by Penny Weber

32 pages – ages 5+

Published by Tilbury House Publishers on October 10, 2012.

Theme/Topic – Family, Technology, Problem Solving

Opening and Synopsis –

Taken from the inside jacket –

“Ella is really frustrated. Lately it seems like the whole family has forgotten how to be together. Instead of playing Hangman and making waffles, everyone is talking on cell phones, playing video games and using the computer. What’s a girl to do?”

Ella misses spending time with her family. Everyone seems to be ignoring each other because they are all plugged in to whatever electronic thing they have. Her brother has his video games, her dad has his computer and her mom and sister have their phones. Ella has had enough and decides to unplug her family!

Why I liked this book – I love the message of this book! It is well-told in the story. I like Ella’s cleverness and creativity. She probably has it because she is not plugged in! All families should read this book and learn from the message given in it – spend more time with each other! I like the illustrations! The expressions on the faces of the characters are really life-like. I like all the small details in the illustrations. This is a great book with an awesome storyline! I recommend this book to kids 5+

Activities and Resources –

GO UNPLUGGED! Our family has regular days where all electronic things are banned and we go out and have fun or play games together. We also plan a family game night (board games not video games). Even if you don’t want to go a whole day without electronics, maybe just plan a board game or to go outside for a walk with the whole family.

There is a teacher’s guide to go along with this book at the publisher’s website. Click HERE to go to it.

Unplugged won the Gold Medal in the Mom’s Choice Awards in 2012. To learn more about Ms. Pedersen, please visit her website HERE. To learn more about Ms. Weber please visit her website HERE.

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog  HERE!

47 Responses to “PPBF Unplugged – Ella Gets Her Family Back by Laura Pedersen”

  1. ontheplumtree January 11, 2013 at 7:25 am #

    Exactly! Whilst technology is a good thing, it does lock people into their own private worlds. I worry that the art of conversation will become lost and interaction unnecessary. Could breed loneliness. Great subject!


  2. julie rowan zoch January 11, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    The whole subject gets tougher as there are more ways to ‘plug-in’, so messages like these are really important. Our elementary school offered game nights, which was really cool because you could choose from so many and there were always enough players!


  3. Catherine Johnson January 11, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    This is a great message for everyone. I look forward to reading it, Erik!


  4. Kirsten Larson January 11, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    Erik, this sounds like HELLO, HELLO for older readers. It’s interesting to see how books reflect things going on in our society.


  5. clarbojahn January 11, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    This seems like a great new contemporary book dealing with the frustrations of our society today. I often wonder how kids feel when I see their parents on the cell phone at the store or restaurant. I can’t wait to get this book!

    It’s not only parents who need to be unplugged but kids. Some kids live for video games and don’t want to do anything else. They forget how to play without being plugged in. Thanks so much for introducing this book to us. 🙂


    • thiskidreviewsbooks January 13, 2013 at 11:36 am #

      My cousin (no name being said) plays videogames a lot, but also does sports, Boy Scouts, and other things besides videogames. I think you would like this book! 🙂


      • clarbojahn January 14, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

        yes, I’m putting it on hold in the library tomorrow or if it’s available, I’ll check it out. I NEED this book. lol .


  6. Joanna January 11, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    I thought the same as Kirsten, this is very like HELLO, HELLO, which I love. So glad you reviewed it, Erik.


  7. Michelle Isenhoff January 11, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    “I like Ella’s cleverness and creativity. She probably has it because she is not plugged in!” Very good point, Erik, lol! I like this book’s message a lot!


  8. Susanna Leonard Hill January 11, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    What a timely story with a great message, Erik! I think a lot of families are struggling with this nowadays. And you (and the book) are so right about the importance of spending unplugged time! I’m REALLY glad to be adding this one to the list! Thanks 🙂


    • thiskidreviewsbooks January 13, 2013 at 11:41 am #

      Thanks Ms. Hill! I’m glad it’s on the list too! This book has a great message! 🙂


  9. Genevieve Petrillo January 11, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    Great choice, Erik! I love the concept and I love this book! We all need to unplug once in a while. ….AFTER we finish reading our blogs!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks January 13, 2013 at 11:42 am #

      Thanks! You do have a valid point, about unplugging AFTER we do our blogs… 😉


  10. Patricia Tilton January 11, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    I love Tilbury House books. They are always about kids coming up with solutions. In a way I’m very glad that this book has been written – but sorry that our society has sunk so deeply into technology that we don’t communicate. Will get this book — want it on my shelf. And, Tilbury House also published Genevieve’s wonderful book “Keep Your Ear on the Ball.”


    • thiskidreviewsbooks January 13, 2013 at 11:44 am #

      This is a good book about taking time to be yourself/selves and putting the games/laptop/phone down. 🙂


  11. KidLitReviews January 11, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Nice job Erik. I love picture books that have nice details, too. I think it is fun finding them, even the odd detail that really isn’t suppose to be easily noticed. Like the artist who put his family members in a crowd. The message is a good one. I think it is so cool and smart to have days without electronics like your family does. Thanks for sharing that. Many think that is impossible to do or anyone would actually do it. You proved that to be a misconception.


  12. Janet Smart January 11, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    thanks, Erik. This is something all families should do.


  13. Laura Renauld January 11, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

    Glad to hear there is a book out there encouraging families to be “unplugged” once in a while. Thanks for sharing it!


  14. Carrie Finison January 11, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    Sounds like a great choice, Erik. Thanks for the review.


  15. Amy D January 11, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    This sounds like a great book, Erik! We are definitely so plugged in sometimes we don’t even realize that we aren’t interacting. Thanks for a great reminder and a great book recommendation!


  16. patientdreamer January 11, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    An excellent choice Erik and such a very current topic. I love that you mention about having family time and turn everything off and just got out for walks or play board games with each other. Terrific review, thanks for sharing.


  17. Sandi Purdell-Lewis January 13, 2013 at 2:54 am #

    It is so important to unplug and have real face to face time. Sounds like a good book.


  18. Stephanie@Fairday's Blog January 13, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    This sounds like a book we can all learn from! Technology is great- but so is real live time with people we love. 🙂


  19. readingwithrhythm January 14, 2013 at 12:02 am #

    What a great book! Yes, there is too too much plugging in! It’s hard to get anyone’s attention anymore! Thanks for sharing this book. I think maybe everyone should read it!


  20. Jarm Del Boccio January 14, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    I am so glad there is a picture book on this topic. It is so needed. And kudos to you and your family for going “unplugged” once a week!


  21. Penny Klostermann January 16, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    I love, love, love technology, Erik. But I love, even more, when parents have the courage to put it in perspective for the benefit of their family. I’m so glad your family has their “unplugged” time!
    This book sounds excellent!


  22. Myra GB January 28, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    Oh wow, this sounds like a pretty timely book. While technology does serve to bring faraway people closer together, it could also drive a wedge among those who live together yet distanced by the use of these gadgets. When my daughter celebrated her 11th birthday this December (she’s your age, Erik, I think your birthdays are only a few days apart), we all played Taboo – are you familiar with this boardgame? Soo soo fun. 🙂


    • thiskidreviewsbooks January 28, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

      I think I have heard about Taboo, but I don’t remember. I’ll ask my Mom. Was it a fun game night? 🙂



  1. Comment Challenge 2013: A Running Update | - January 28, 2013

    […] PPBF Unplugged: Ella Gets her Family Back by Laura Pedersen by Erik from This Kid Reviews Books […]


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