cover image Big Plans

Big Plans

Bob Shea, , illus. by Lane Smith. . Hyperion, $17.99 (48pp) ISBN 978-1-4231-1100-9

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.)