Plan by Alison Paul hardcover
As a father and daughter cope with a loss, they rediscover an important piece of family history and begin building a new life. Alison Paul and Barbara Lehman's innovative picture book collaboration proves the only difference between reality and a dream . . . is a plan.
Paul (Sunday Love) uses clever wordplay for the text of her story, starting with the word “plan,” then adding or subtracting a single letter to create each subsequent word: “plan... plane... planet.” The plot is complex, but easy to follow in Caldecott Honor–winner Lehman’s (The Red Book) neatly drafted panels. A farm girl in overalls, wondering about the plane sitting unused in her yard, uses a key to open a room full of memories. Her parents were once stunt pilots, she discovers in a scrapbook album. The photos prove an inspiration; the father realizes that his daughter is old enough to fly with him, and they ready their plane so they can set off into the sky—probably not to Saturn, the “planet” of the girl’s “plan,” but as close as they can get. The presence of the family dog (something of an aviator, himself) brings additional sweetness, while a panel of father and daughter visiting her mother’s grave strikes a somber note. This lovely story blends a sense of rootedness with the spirit of exploration—a rare combination. Ages 4–7.