Saturday, May 17, 2008

Big Plans by Bob Shea and Lane Smith - review

Big Plans by Bob Shea and Lane Smith
Bob Shea (New Socks) and Lane Smith (John, Paul, George & Ben, which I think only I liked, because I loved it when it came out, and then I never saw hide nor hair of it again)? These two guys? Together? Dayum.

What's more, Big Plans totally lives up to the talent behind it. Our hero, who is sitting in the corner for being too amazing, dreams about his BIG PLANS and what he's going to do when he's in charge. "YOU! Dig a hole!" he'll say. "PENNSYLVANIA! Build a rocket ship!" "The rest of you, mill about! MILL ABOUT, I say!"

Ok, this is another loud book. Maybe it's clear by now that I like loud books. I like books that explode any suggestion that reading is for the meek. Books, and the people who read them, are often brash, daring, and emphatic, and I like to model that to kids as often as possible.

The illustrations, the text, and even the design fit together seamlessly. A plus for new readers: each character's speech and the (minimal) narration are distinguished by the use of a specific typeface and color.

It's funny. It's fast-paced. It's sly and self-referential and powerful. I Will Make Miracles is a more profound statement of this concept, but Big Plans says it loud and says it proud. (Either, by the way, would make an excellent gift for the graduate.)

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