Review of ‘Today We Have No Plans’
Title: ‘Today We Have No Plans’
Author: Jane Godwin
Illustrator: Anna Walker
Age Range: Early childhood-middle primary
Publisher: Penguin Books
Themes: family, togetherness, time, passing of time, days of the week, relaxation, slowing down.
Click on title links or cover images to purchase.
“A busy week, a slower day, brings time to dream and time to play”
Slow days do not feature in my life. I think about them, I really do…but they don’t happen. The family in this book has a slow day on Sundays, I might aim to have one every school holidays!
In ‘Today We Have No Plans’, Jane Godwin’s rhyming text and Anna Walker’s gorgeous ink, pencil and collage illustrations take us through a typical family’s week. As we all are, this family are super busy Monday to Friday with swimming lessons, school, after school care, music lessons. PudStar particularly liked the illustration of the mother on Friday at the supermarket: “Ha! She’s got a cranky face just like you!”. Thanks Puddy.
Saturday comes and is full of sport. Then you turn the page. And there it is…Sunday. The page is uncluttered and peaceful, as is the text. It makes you take a breath.
On Sunday in this family: clock hands slow; children swing and climb trees; eat pancakes till they are full; craft; read; play; garden…; and take time to notice small, slow, quiet things – like snails.
This is a story that celebrates family and time together at a slower pace. But it also recognises that life is busy and hectic and chaotic and the mess depicted in the illustrations of breakfast was encouraging to me…made me feel okay about my mornings!
The endpapers are beautiful, and I do so like good endpapers; I’m sure PudStar is the only child at show and tell that shows ‘pretty endpapers’. The book in hardcover would be a lovely gift book. The covers are super thick, almost puffy and soft; and the whole production of the book is just perfect, excellent work Penguin Australia!
Jane Godwin and Anna Walker are the same team behind the delightful ‘All Through the Year’. I’m sure it is the same family in that book also. Great companion books…months of the year and days of the week.
Follow it up in the home, classroom or library:
- Days of the week…can we say them in order? Can we write the names of the days? Can we draw what we do on the days of the week?
- If you have a weekly schedule, have your child draw or list their activities for the week, and pencil in a ‘No Plans’ day (even if like me it’s once in a blue moon)
- Draw a picture or write a paragraph about your favourite activity of the week…it might be gymnastics, or school tuckshop day, or spelling test day!
- Fold some paper in half. On one side draw your busiest day of the week, and all the things you do…see if you can make the illustration feel super busy! On the other half choose colours that make you feel peaceful, and draw your least busy day of the week. Think about how you can make a picture feel calm and relaxed. .
- If you had a ‘No Plans Day’ what would you do? Draw a picture and write a caption under it. Write a list of all the things you would like to do if you had the time.
- Can you see what book the family are reading on the last page? Can you find this book in the library or a bookshop?