The Perfect Plan by Leah Gilbert

The Perfect Plan by Leah Gilbert (9781547605262)

Maya dreams of having the “most incredible and wonderful” fort in the woods. So she researches, designs, plans and gathers supplies. Then she found the perfect spot in the woods for it. But when she started trying to build the fort, it didn’t turn out the way she had planned. But Maya didn’t give up. She went to the beavers at the river and asked them for help. They soon had plenty of branches, but they were too heavy to move. Maya spotted a moose in the trees and asked the moose to help them lift the branches high into the trees. But none of them could climb well enough. So Maya asked the bears for help. Soon they had a frame, but it wouldn’t stay in place. Maya and her team called to the birds for help and they twisted and wound vines around the frame to hold it. The fort was almost perfect, but then a storm blew in and Maya had to go home. Would the fort be ruined after all their hard work?

This story shows how working together and having each creature use their own unique talents can create something very special. At first, the book has Maya working in a solitary way with her own plans. That quickly changes when she needs help and asks for it. As the book proceeds, the words Maya uses to describe the fort they are building change too, to better reflect what that creature brings to the overall project. It’s a dynamic use of language, showing how Maya’s perspective changes with the help of others.

Gilbert’s art really reveals the magic of the forest on the page. Her illustrations are luminous with streaks and rays of sunlight coming through the trees. The greens are fresh and welcoming while the rainstorm is a threatening purple in the sky. The use of colors is very effective throughout the book.

A STEM look at building a fort with friends. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy provided by Bloomsbury.

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