What We’ll Build: Plans for Our Together Future

Oliver Jeffers. Philomel, $19.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-593-20675-1
In this standalone companion to Here We Are! that is dedicated to his daughter, Jeffers imagines a stream of fanciful projects that a father, sporting a wool hat, and his sailor dress–clad daughter might do together. Zooming in on her small hands, his large ones, and the tools they have both assembled, it’s clear that the narrator views the girl as a capable partner, despite her age—“Let’s build a door/ where there was none,// We’ll build a house/ to be our home.” He promises to keep her safe in “a place to stay when all is lost,/ to keep the things we love the most,” and he’s also up for daffy engineering projects: towers, tunnels, a road to the moon, all stroked in generous swaths of warm color and Jeffers’s signature childlike scribbles. In the story’s most developed episode, the two realize that building walls keeps potential friends out, and they open their fortress gates to admit a Viking, a pirate, a witch, and a lavender-colored surgeon. Jeffers’s benediction portrays a parent who surrounds his child with love and steadies her as she learns how to bring her dreams to fruition. Ages 4–8. Agent: Paul Moreton, Bell Lomax Moreton. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 09/02/2020
Release date: 10/06/2020
Genre: Children's
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