November 2015

Shh! We Have a Plan, Little Owl Lost and Oh No George  |  Chris Haughton

When I choose a book of the month, I often go back to the website to see the other books I have recommended in the past.  Every now and again, I find myself wondering how I missed recommending a certain book.  In this case, I hadn’t reviewed one of the books by Chris Haughton, author and illustrator extraordinaire.

The plan in Shh! We Have a Plan is to stay together, tip-toe quietly through the night and try to catch a little bird.  No luck here, except for the friendly little hunter who just wants to befriend the bird by saying hello. His fellow hunters are not happy because they are trying so hard to get that bird into a net.  The hunters are rendered in dark colors while the birds emblazon the page in beautiful jewel tones.  Haughton's color choice adds to the drama.

Shh! We Have a Plan is Chris Haughton’s most recent book. It appeared on many “Favorite Picture Books for 2015” lists and it won an Irma S. and James H. Black honor award for excellence in children’s literature.

After reading this book at snack time, it sparked a big discussion about making plans.  The children were eager to share their after school plans.  Here was my favorite:

“My plan is to go home, sit on my couch, and screw around with my toys….maybe make a traffic jam!”

Sounds like a plan to me!

Other books by Chris Haughton

Little Owl Lost

Little Owl Lost was Chris Haughton’s picture book debut.  This is a simple story about a little owl that falls out of its tree.  Lucky for the little owl, he is befriended by a squirrel who makes it his mission to find the mother owl.  Little Owl describes his mother’s features, but how big is big?  The bear is big but not his mother.  After a few tries, Little Owl and his mother are reunited.  Of note here is that when I read this book, I always point out the tear in mother’s eye.  Why would Little Owl’s mother be crying?  Could it be that she was worried too? Children always need to stay where a mother can see you.  Great concept, huh?

I cannot tell you how many times we have read this book at CHP and how many times it has been the puppet show at the end of the day.  Children just love it.

Oh No George! 

George the dog is a lovable thing.   His owner trusts him to be good.  George wants to be good, but sometimes dogs (and little kids) forget. His owner Harry leaves George with instructions to be good.  George wants to be good but he encounters many of his favorite things that get him into trouble…like cats, and cake, and fun places to dig.  When Harry returns he sees the damage George has left behind.  Harry is not happy and George is full of remorse.  Harry loves George so he takes him out for a walk.  George encounters many of the things that got him into trouble, and he remembers to be good…until he sees a yummy bucket of trash.  Will George be good?  No answer here; your child is left to decide!

2015Janie Greene