Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Shh! We Have a Plan

Shh! We Have a Plan

Spring 2015 Picture Books
Ages: 3 - 7 yrs.
Author: Chris Haughton
Publisher: Candlewick Press
ISBN: 9780763672935
Hardcover Price: $15.99

When three grownups with nets go out bird-catching along with a child who has no net at all, guess who will be most successful in catching the beautiful red bird sitting high in a tree? As one clever grown-up plan after another fails, the littlest hunter disregards all orders to shush, and executes his own common-sense plan to draw all the birds his way.

There are no surprises in this book, and I mean that in the best possible sense; it is brilliantly and delightfully predictable from beginning to end. Stories about small underdogs outperforming idiotic grown people really never get old, and this version of the story pattern is especially well done. Haughton's illustrations are both beautiful and humorous. The sight gags for each failed bird-catching plot are expertly paced; at the same time, many readers will be struck by the artistry of the brilliant colors and intricate details of the birds contrasting with cool blues and block shapes for the hunter characters. This book is likely to be most successful at the younger end of the suggested age range; with them, it is likely to be a favorite that is read and re-read.

Naomi Lesley   ©2015 Parents' Choice
Naomi Lesley taught middle and high school English for six years. She is currently in a doctoral program at the George Washington University, focusing on American young adult literature.

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