Shh! We Have a Plan

A blue book cover with the title "Shh! We Have a Plan!" written across the top in white letters. There are 4 character silhouettes with white eyes, the fourth is the smallest and is looking sideways at the other three. The book has a gold Ezra Jack Keats award sticker.
Shh! We Have a Plan, by Chris Haughton


This is a really delightful story, told only in pictures and dialogue, of four friends who are trying to catch a bird. The smallest one keeps getting scolded for saying hello to the bird while the others try to sneak up on it. Of course the little one’s friendliness wins out and attracts a whole flock of colorful birds in the end. 

This book is really fun for the young ones (age 3-7) and the sparse text allows for many opportunities to talk about the story as you go. One comprehension strategy this lends itself to is using picture clues to better understand a story. In general, the strategy of using picture clues means that readers pay close attention to details in the illustrations to find out more about the story that the text does not say. Here are a few questions to help your reader practice looking for picture clues!

Discussion Questions:

  1. What do you think they want to do with the bird? How can you tell? (Catch it and keep it in a cage. They are holding nets and a birdcage.)
  2. Is the littlest one holding a net? What do you think he wants to do? (No. Your child may come up with various reasons, such as he wants to be friends with the bird, he just wants to look at the bird, he wants to feed it, be nice, etc)
  3. When the three bigger characters say “Shh! We have a plan!” what is their plan? (to sneak up on the bird and catch it with their nets)
  4. Why did all the birds gather around the littlest character in the end? (He gave the first bird some bread.)

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