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The Plan

By: Alison Paul

Illustrator: Barbara Lehman

"Plan . . . Plane. Planet." Words change letter by letter to tell the story of a girl, her dog, and her dad, rediscovering their past and making plans for the future. Full-color watercolor, gouache, and ink illustrations.

ISBN: 9780544283336

JLG Release: Mar 2016


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Plans , Planes , Family life , Photo albums , Father and daughter relationships , Word formation

$12.75   $9.75 Member Price

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Primary

Grades K-1

12 titles/year

$195.60/year

Awards & Honors

Booklist Best Picture Books of 2015; Kids’
Indie Next List Preview, Winter 2015–2016, Ages 4–8
Children’s Literature Assembly, 2016 Notable Children’s Books in the English Language Arts

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine, The Horn Book Guide^, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Using only 10 letters to make 20 words, Paul provides the scaffold on which Lehman builds a story. Paul’s word ladder, in which letters are added or subtracted from one page to the next: “pals/ Pa’s/past/post” are fun, but it’s Lehman’s watercolors that form a narrative. Her firmly lined pen-and-ink drawings are Using only 10 letters to make 20 words, Paul provides the scaffold on which Lehman builds a story. Paul’s word ladder, in which letters are added or subtracted from one page to the next: “pals/ Pa’s/past/post” are fun, but it’s Lehman’s watercolors that form a narrative. Her firmly lined pen-and-ink drawings are easily interpreted as they depict a little girl who longs to fly the abandoned bi-plane sitting on her family farm and the way she persuades her widowed father to take to the air again. Readers may feel left hanging by the unexplained backstory. Viewers see father and daughter visiting her mother’s grave, but have no idea how she perished. VERDICT It’s all a bit sketchy.—Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Library, NY

Horn Book

In just twenty words and a set of artfully plain pictures, Paul and Lehman reveal a sweet, multilayered story of family loss and closeness. May Swift lives with her father and (anthropomorphized) dog on a prairie farm sometime in the 1920s. May dreams of flying to Saturn, but the biplane in their farmyard sits abandoned, inhabited by chickens. When In just twenty words and a set of artfully plain pictures, Paul and Lehman reveal a sweet, multilayered story of family loss and closeness. May Swift lives with her father and (anthropomorphized) dog on a prairie farm sometime in the 1920s. May dreams of flying to Saturn, but the biplane in their farmyard sits abandoned, inhabited by chickens. When May finds an old photo album, she discovers that her mother was a barnstormer pilot and persuades her father that the plane, the Mighty Comet, should fly again. In the final illustration we see the family flying off into the night—perhaps not to Saturn, but they do have a lot of luggage. This narrative is given the added dimension of a word morph game, where each word leads to the next with the addition or deletion of one letter, plan to plane to planet, eventually coming full circle back to plan. The deeper story lies in the spaces between the words, especially in the five wordless pictures that lead from pain to plain. Did May’s mother die in an airplane accident? Childbirth? Is the family leaving home for good? The emotions are clear; the story itself leaves us room to speculate. sarah ellis

Book Details

ISBN

9780544283336

First Release

March 2016

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

E

Trim Size

10 1/2" x 8 1/2"

Page Count

32

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

Plans, Planes, Family life, Photo albums, Father and daughter relationships, Word formation,

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