Have you ever imagined how cool it would be if there were real people living inside our computers like you and me instead of chips and circuits and also that they maybe living their everyday lives normally like us? Sounds amusing!
Here is a picture book which is just about that.
The book Little Bit and Big Byte: A Day at the Beach written by Craig T Feigh and illustrated by Patrick Carlson begins with introducing the characters. The story is narrated by a boy Little Bit, Romie who has an elder brother, Big Byte and a sister, Joy (Joystick). The father is named CD and the mother is named Nettie. There are also 2 pets in this family – a dog and a cat named Click and Browser respectively. The family lives in a town, Cyberville, inside our computer.
One fine day, the siblings head out to the beach along with their pets to have a fun-filled day. The beach is buzzing with a sandcastle building competition. While the siblings build their sandcastle, the pets, Click and Browser, have their own share of adventure with chasing the birds and small animals. Little Bit and Big Byte meet a few more characters such as Webster, the nerd from their school, Kay Board, a girl on the beach and 2 nefarious guys Vi and Russ.
Vi and Russ invite everyone for surfing the ocean waves. Big Byte, in order to look cool, decides to go surfing. Kay Board joins him too. After a while of surfing, a huge wave comes sweeping them both, Big Byte and Kay Board, far out in the ocean. Kay Board is mightily scared of the sharks surrounding them. Soon a gigantic wave arrives carrying them over and dumping them back on the beach. At last, they are safe and get a lesson from the Lifeguards to stay clear of the dangerous waves and the bad guys Vi and Russ.
My review –
Little Bit and Big Byte is a series in which A Day at the Beach is the first book. This book is a unique, interesting and entertaining way of introducing the world of computers, net surfing and viruses & bugs to young children. The illustrations are attractive. The illustrating style is comical and warm colours are used. Each page in the layout is designed in the form of a desktop with illustrations taking the monitor space and the texts finding a place in the keyboard space. This is highly appropriate in the context of the book and deserves a mention.
Dhruv enjoyed reading the book. He chuckled quite a lot saying out the lines aloud. The line which amused him most was “Here Click, Click here.” This was a call-out line used thrice for the pet dog Click to follow Little Bit and his siblings.
The entire book is a wonderful attempt and I would have highly recommended it if I had not been sensitive feeling a sense of discomfort at 3 places in the story. The character Big Byte is told to be 8 years old and yet the tome of his character is that of a teenager. He talks of finding cute girls on the beach and zeroes it on Kay Board to be of ‘his type’. These lines could invoke laughter for some but for a picture book targetted at the age group of 3+ years, I found these lines hugely inappropriate. Also, the character of Kay Board is dumbed down in the part where she and Big Byte are swept back on the beach. While Big Byte did offer to save her when she gets into danger amid the sharks, they were finally rescued by a big wave that had nothing to do with Big Byte’s heroic act. Yet, Kay Board says “You are my hero, Big Byte” and plants a soft kiss on his cheek. A simple ‘thank you’ should have been enough for this is a picture book (I have to repeat this) and not some middle-grade reader. Although, I would have still pointed out the dumbing down of a female character in a middle-grade book.
My sensitivity is a function of my cultural background. If one is able to dismiss these concerns, then this book is worthy of at least a one time read.
Next in line is my review of the 2nd book in the Little Bit and Big Byte series – Go Green which scores high on the entertainment and educational grounds for me as compared to the book A Day at the Beach.
Author – Craig T Feigh
Illustrator – Patrick Carlson
Age group – 3+ years
Release Year – 2018
Disclaimer – I received a pdf copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. The images are screenshots of the pages from the pdf file.