cover image The Perfect Plan

The Perfect Plan

Leah Gilbert. Bloomsbury, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5476-0526-2

Inspired by animals’ cozy forest homes, a child called Maya carefully plans to construct a tree fort of her own. Gilbert (A Couch for Llama) draws Maya with a perfectly round head, light skin and dark braids, a plaid shirt, and an eager look. But when she hikes into the forest and starts to build, she can’t seem to fashion the branches into a structure. “What if I just can’t do it? she wondered.” So she approaches some beavers—creatures she knows have experience with trees. They’re happy to help, as are a moose and a bear family she appeals to. “We’re building the most beautiful and unique tree fort in the world!” she says to some birds. “Will you help us?” Foul weather represents a single tense moment before Maya can enjoy the dazzling tree fort she’s built alongside the community that helped her do it. Polished digital artwork portrays the animals and the forest in stylized, easy-to-recognize forms accented by golden light. Though the animals lack individuating characteristics, lessons about persistence and teamwork are clear as Maya and friends exemplify cheerful energy, cooperation, and focus. Ages 3–6. [em]Agent: Clelia Gore, Martin Literary. (July) [/em]