Book Review: Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton

You can’t go wrong with a Chris Haughton book, they are simply perfect for the 2- 6 year old age group. Full of distinctive, imaginative and stylistic illustrations this book is one of those lovely books that as an adult you enjoy looking at for the artwork as much as you do reading it to the children. In fact, I want it on my bookshelf.

The story in itself is all about a group of people who have a plan to catch a birdy, they are somewhat thwarted by the littlest one saying hello to the birdy’s though. Its quite a repetitive tale with a nice twist at the end. I must admit it did make us laugh because the littlest one in our house always give the game away too!

In terms of the children’s reactions, the 2 and 5 year old loved it, the nearly seven year old thought it was a bit boring. I think that’s because of the lack of words, the 2 and 5 year old can still enjoy a book by looking purely at the pictures, whereas everything we do with the 7 year old at the moment has an emphasis on words. On reflection this is a real shame because you can gain so much just from looking at a picture and I think I’m going to have to do some projects at home to get him to regain the skill of simply looking and analysing something for what it is.

This is a beautifully produced book which will take pride of place on my bookshelf alongside Chris Haughton’s other books. It is one I’m going to keep for myself long after the children have left home. If you love books and love art you’ll love this one. I think its too good for the children to be let loose on alone, in our house its for supervised reading only, as its something to treasure.

If you’d like to read a bit more about the book and the making of it Chris Haughton has written a really interesting blog which you can find here.

In terms of follow up activities for this book so far we have considered all the different types of plans we can make. This has resulted in some interesting discussions, particularly with Fifi (5) as she loves a plan! I’m also going to get the children to draw some picture books without words in the school half term break, using this book as a springboard, so do come back and see what you think of our efforts.

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