In our highly scheduled society, children are often shuttled from one frenzied activity to another. Just being together as a family at home without a rush is becoming less the norm and more the rarity. It is great to have a picture book that highlights the precious time spent together as a family when the parents decide that day they will take it as it comes at home – they have no plans.
In Today We Have NO PLANS, the young girl starts off her school week in a rush and a fright. Her active week involves school preparation on Monday, swimming on Tuesday, after-school care on Wednesday, orchestra practice on Thursday, grocery shopping on Friday, and netball on Saturday. By Friday Mum has “had enough”. How true this story is; how accurately it reflects reality.
The story then takes a quieter pace, the world seems to visibly slow down as the double-page spread highlights the words: “But then…” The illustration is relaxed and peaceful as the young girl views her backyard tree with a simple plank suggesting playful home activities.
Mum and Dad announce they won’t be going out anywhere today; they will just stay home. The story succeeds in imparting a sense of enthusiasm for the idea of restfulness and creativity that can be had through staying home. Pyjama days, swinging, eating pancakes, building a cubby, craft – here are plenty of ideas for stay at home fun! After reading this book, you may very well find yourself liking the idea of staying home instead of taking on that one extra piano class…even on a Saturday too.
A former children’s librarian, Jane Fagan is currently a full-time mother of two.