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Big Plans Hardcover – April 15, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Trailed by his yes-man sidekick (a mynah bird), a boy trumpets his ambitiousness. I got big plans! Big plans, I say! he shouts repeatedly, in display type that dominates the pages (no mean feat, considering the hyperthyroid trim size). Despite his brashness, the boy is stuck in a time-out corner (the reason for his punishment is not given). Yet this temporary condition does not crush the boy's imagination. He envisions himself marching into Manhattan and reading the riot act to lookalike bald men at a board meeting (You! Take a memo!... You! Ready my helicopter!). He sees himself elbowing out the mayor and then the president. Finally, he anticipates rocketing to the moon to spell out his big plans slogan in gigantic rocks. Shea, whose New Socks also features hyperbolic repetition, gives readers a bold and funny motto to proclaim against small setbacks. Smith's (John, Paul, George & Ben) punchy collages and grainy wallpaper patterns, along with emphatic typefaces, reinforce the speaker's unquenchable spirit. On the other hand, not everyone will get the satire involved in countering authoritarian ways with more of the same. All ages. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2—A boy sits in a corner of his empty classroom, his misdeeds recorded on the blackboard. Without a bit of remorse, he muses, "Soon, the entire world will know of my big plans." He climbs to a mountaintop and shouts: "I got big plans! Big plans, I say!" This line becomes his mantra and is repeated many times. On the way down the mountain, he meets a mynah bird who becomes his sidekick. They head into the city, where the boy runs a big company. While flying its helicopter (with the mynah as pilot), he sees the local football team losing a game. They land the helicopter midfield and score a victory. The boy appoints himself mayor of the city and then President of the United States. There's a photograph of the White House inserted in the middle of Smith's wacky drawings. Next, it's off to the moon, where he does some redecorating. When he blasts off for his trip back to Earth, he spells out the refrain using moon rocks. Now the whole world knows. The last page shows the youngster still in the classroom corner. Smith's vivacious illustrations make this a book to pore over as there are new details to notice with each reading. The format is oversize, and the text and drawings appear in a variety of sizes and shapes. A funny and far-reaching selection.—Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; 1St Edition edition (April 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423111001
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423111009
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.5 x 13 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. Jonker on July 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I got in trouble as a kid. It didn't happen too often, but it happened. "Mocked" the guitar player during the assembly (sincerest form of flattery, I say), got a bit too rough playing Ninja Turtles at recess - standard stuff. Like a bucket of cold water on the head, getting in trouble as a kid always reminds you of the fact that adults are unquestionably in charge. "Big Plans" exuberantly turns this notion on its head. In terms of read-aloud-ability, it will likely prove to be one of the highlights of Aught Eight.

The story begins with our unnamed protagonist stewing in Time Out. As the title suggests, he has a few ideas about how things should be, and is not afraid to share. Are they specific? Not at all. But you don't need details when you've got this kind of persistence. With the gusto of Alex Baldwin's character in "Glengarry Glen Ross", our hero's fantasy jumps into action. He's making it clear who's in charge, ordering people around and demanding to know if you're "in or out". Along the way he acquires a mynah bird sidekick, a skunk-coon cap, and a wake of adults impressed with his determination. He wins football games, crashes board meetings, and talks the President into handing over his job. All while never losing focus of his mission: to proclaim his big plans to the world.

A warning: this book is fairly relentless in its methods. It's not made for "quiet time in ye olde story corner". The fonts sizes vary between huge and massive. Lane Smith's collage illustrations fit right in and add to the craziness. It's fair to say that, if done correctly, you can expect to hear "A Clamor of Children" during this storytime. But that's the fun, right?
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Format: Hardcover
Lane Smith has been a favorite ever since STINKY CHEESE MAN found its way into our children's lives.
And about a year ago we discovered Bob Sheas' NEW SOCKS, which became an instant favorite in our house. A truly great nightly read aloud.

So we're beyond delighted to see two of our household favorites come together to work on this book.

All the great visuals of a Lane Smith classic with the laugh out loud read along style of Bob Shea...perfect.
Hope they're off somewhere working on another...ANOTHER I SAY!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son loved this book when he was little. I order it often for friends with young boys. It's not intended for boys, just that the character is a boy. There's one that is similar that is a girl running for president. Both darling!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love, love, love, love this book! If I had to choose one book that I've read to my young children that I like better than all the rest, it is this book.

It is a fantastic gift. It's great for first day of kindergarten or high school graduation. We've given lots of copies to friends as gifts, and the lines from the book become catchphrases in our circles on Facebook.

In fact, I was just going to order a dozen or so paperbacks, and I find out that it's out of print!!! And apparently was never released in paperback?!? PUBLISHER, ARE YOU A NAYSAYER? DO YOU SAY NAY?!?

As I write this, the price for third-party seller's new stock is going for between $38 and $500! The book's worth it at that price, but YOU'RE BRINGING ME DOWN, PUBLISHER!

From now on, I'm putting the Mynah Bird in charge of Hyperion Books, with the title of PRESIDENT President!
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Format: Hardcover
BIG PLANS is a HUGE HIT in our household. Our 4-year-old has been learning phonetics in pre-school and -- after only one supervised read of BIG PLANS, I caught him sounding out the words himself -- "pre-reading" as they say. (He also walks around the house crowing the words "I got big plans!" -- and I'm happy to encourage his confidence and ambition.) We both love the rambunctious boy-energy of the book -- in the text and the big bold brilliant illustrations. I especially appreciate that the boy-hero's fantasies incorporate all the educational materials found in his classroom: the world, the moon, the birds, the words. (He's using stuff he learned at school.) BIG PLANS is a terrific read between father & son -- especially because the boy's "big plans" are so big that he needs to wear his dad's tie and shoes. As a parent who reads A LOT of books to my kid, I found BIG PLANS fun to read out loud -- big and animated. It also doesn't take forever to finish or put me to sleep in the process! I already picked up an extra copy for my nephew who graduates from high school this year. BIG PLANS makes the PERFECT GRADUATION PRESENT 'cause it's all about ambition and drive!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I cannot say enough about this book and was more than a little shocked to see that it's out of print. If you can get your hands on a copy, defintiely do it. I have a copy for myself and have bought one for all my nieces and nephews.

I think it's a fun way to show kids how to stand up for their ideas. We're a very sarcastic family, so the attitude of this book definitely hit it out of the park for us. The main character even talks the president out of his job and into a VP positon, because he's got BIG PLANS. After we read it, my 4-year-old nephew will go around telling everyone about his plans and asking if they're in. I love it.
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