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*Big Plans* by Bob Shea, illustrated by Lane Smith
 
Also written and/or illustrated by Lane Smith:

Princess Hyacinth (The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated)

The Big Elephant in the Room

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

Madam President

 
Also by Bob Shea:

Dinosaur vs. Santa
Big Plans
by Bob Shea, illustrated by Lane Smith
Ages 5+ 48 pages Hyperion April 2008 Hardcover    

A naughty child who has been exiled to the corner of his classroom dreams big dreams in an attempt to show he doesnít belong there. Although the reason for his punishment is not specifically given, the notes on the blackboard easily convey the message that this boy rolls his eyes, schemes, is bossy, laughs at his classmates and thinks heís the most important guy around.

Obviously this is not a nice boy, but rather one with an ego the size of his plans. Right from the start, this overbearing child spouts in really BIG letters that he has ďBig plans, big plans I say!Ē And this little guy doesnít believe in starting at the bottom. No sir, he heads straight to the top of a high-rise boardroom, where he tells the bigwigs whatís what.

From there he journeys to a football team, where he shows up the players. Then itís off to the mayorís office to show how a big thinker gets the job done. He quickly realizes the mayor is small potatoes and travels directly to the White House to oust the president.

After using certain States to do his bidding, this condescending youngster shoots to the moon, where he stands back and forces his mynah bird sidekick to do manual labor so the whole world will know he has BIG PLANS!

Although you canít help but admire this kid for dreaming big and craving success, his tactics leave something to be desired. There is not much to endear us to this rude and bossy child, which makes it difficult to cheer him on. Success should not be gained at the expense of others, and respect doesnít play into this story at all. Naughty humor can be funny when a child unwittingly misbehaves, but one who is purposefully rude is not amusing.

Author Bob Shea is known for his fun and witty picture books written from a kidís perspective, and Big Plans is no different. However, what may have been meant to inspire big dreams also encourages arrogance.

The illustrations, by Lane Smith, of The Stinky Cheese Man fame, are bold and loud and fit the main character like a glove. This book is well put-together and certainly eye-catching. But be forewarned: when reading aloud to group, it may well incite a riot instead of inducing motivation.
 


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  Niki Schoenfeldt/2009 for curled up with a good kid's book  






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