Vintage Schoolhouse Children's Photo Shoot with Anders Ruff Vintage Schoolhouse Children’s Photo Shoot with Anders Ruff[/caption]Four friends walking through the woods spot a bright red bird. They try and fail to capture it over and over again. Only the smallest friend succeeds in getting the bird to come to him by simply holding out a piece of bread. Then, dozens of brightly colored birds come and the remaining three friends try to capture them, but are driven away. At the end, the friends see a brightly colored squirrel and their adventure begins again.

The Simplest Solution is Sometimes the Best

Children are good at teaching themselves how to solve problems. However, they also look towards adults to learn how they deal with problems. Show children that solving a problem doesn’t always have to include a big, grandiose scheme. Sometimes, the simplest solution is the most efficient.

Repetitive Plot Adds to Humor

Repetition is a common comedic device. While reading, engage children by asking them what they think the hunters should do to capture the bird. Then, turn the page to see if the characters “took” their suggestions. Children can even count down with the characters as they try to capture the bird and laugh when the plan predictably fails.

Bright Colors Contrast with the Darker Background

The bright colors of the birds, and later the squirrel, stand out from the varying shades of blue and black that is the world and the four friends themselves. The illustrations very clearly show readers what the friends’ target is and make it easier to see. On the other hand, the darker colors of the characters themselves make them blend in to the background, adding to the fact that they are being stealthy.

The illustrations work well with the text because it shows the reader more than what the text says. Children can see for themselves what is happening and follow along.

Recommended Audience

Shh! We Have a Plan has a very simple story with predictable results. So it’s best suited for preschoolers who have a good grasp of language and story but don’t need it to be too complicated. Adults can easily laugh and count along with kids.

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