May 19, 2017

Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 8:07 pm by suebe2

Shh! We Have a Plan
by Chris Haughton
Candlewick Press

A quartet of young explorers make their way through the wintry landscape in the dusky evening. What will they find?  When they see a bird, the smallest calls out.  “Hi, Birdie!”

“Shh! We have a plan,” his companions say.

Plan after plan fails as the bird flies away from their nets but the pattern is established.  Greet, shush, pounce again and again.

Finally, they come upon the smallest companion surrounded by birds because he is feeding them.  Unlike the quartet of explorers, depicted in blues with wide white eyes, the birds are a colorful crew, vibrant and lively in the dusky winter landscape. When the bigger kids try to net the birds, they get more than they bargained for and flee.

Then they see a squirrel.

Haughton uses digital illustrations that look a lot like collage to create the folky feel of that art style.  The illustrations are deceptively simple – looking blocky and basic but contributing to the sense of fun.  Paired with the simple text, it creates dreamy story that feels classic although it is new.

This would make an excellent read aloud with illustrations that are simple enough to be seen from the back row, while being expressive enough to help create the sense of fun calamity that befalls each attempt to capture the bird.  Furthermore, the repetition, “Shh! We have a plan,” forms a repeated refrain that is sure to pull  young book lovers into the story.

The same things that make it a strong story time book make it accessible to emergent readers who are still honing their skills.  The simple text is reinforced through both repetition and the illustrations.

Build on the text by providing the art supplies necessary for collage and let new stories grow.  Perhaps they will be stories of night-time adventures.  Perhaps woodland explorations.




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