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Orca Winter 2019 (January to May)

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A Plan for Pops
By (author): Heather Smith Illustrated by: Brooke Kerrigan
9781459816145 Hardcover, Picture book, Paper over boards English Juvenile: Age (years) from 3 - 5, Grade (CAN) from P - K, Grade (US) from P - K, Reading age from 3 - 5 JUVENILE FICTION / Family / Multigenerational Feb 19, 2019
$19.95 CAD
Active 9 x 9 x 0.31 in | 380 gr 32 pages full color images FSC certified – mixed sources C106973 Orca Book Publishers
Blue Spruce Award 2020, Short-listed CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection 2019, Commended OLA Best Bets—Top Ten 2019, Commended ALA Rainbow List Top Ten 2020, Commended Best Spiritual Book of the Year 2019, Commended
This complex contraption has one simple task: to make Pops smile.

Lou spends every Saturday with Grandad and Pops. They walk to the library hand in ?hand, like a chain of paper dolls. Grandad reads books about science and design, Pops listens to rock and roll, and Lou bounces from lap to lap. But everything changes one Saturday. Pops has a fall. That night there is terrible news: Pops will need to use a wheelchair, not just for now, but for always. Unable to cope with his new circumstances, he becomes withdrawn and shuts himself in his room. Hearing Grandad trying to cheer up Pops inspires Lou to make a plan. Using skills learned from Grandad, and with a little help from their neighbors, Lou comes up with a plan for Pops.

Originally from Newfoundland, Heather Smith now lives in Waterloo, Ontario, with her family. Her Newfoundland roots inspire much of her writing. Her middle-grade novel Ebb and Flow was short-listed for the Governor General's Literary Award, and her YA novel The Agony of Bun O'Keefe won the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award and was short-listed for the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award and the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People.

Brooke Kerrigan has loved to draw ever since she was a little girl, so it seemed only natural that she would grow up to be an artist. Of all her creative endeavors, illustrating children's books is her favorite. Born in Toronto, Ontario, she currently lives with her husband in the French Alps, in a little town that inspires her every day. For more information, visit

Key Selling Points

Lou spends every Saturday with Grandad and Pops. But when Pops has a fall, Lou and Grandad come up with a plan to make Pops smile.

Themes of multigenerational relationships, imagination and play, depression.

LGBTQ+ content: Lou has two grandfathers--Lou's gender is never specified.

Heather Smith's previous picture book, Angus All Aglow, was purchased by Scholastic.

Also available in French: Une idee for Papi.

Includes STEM content: Lou and grandparents build a Rube Goldberg machine.

Marketing and Promotional Plans

Print and online advertising campaigns

Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade

Extensive ARC distribution, including NetGalley

Blog and social media promotion

"A positive and realistic representation of both a wheelchair user and an elderly, interracial gay male couple. " - Kirkus Reviews

"Accompanied by Kerrigan's muted, pastel-coloured illustrations… Smith's narrative creates a fully rounded and sympathetic storyline with characters with whom youngsters will likely be able to identify…A delicious, enjoyable, and necessary narrative for modern families with a non-normative makeup. Highly Recommended." - CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"A fond and sympathetic story, told with attractive particulars, of the challenging pitfalls of aging and their effects on the family…[A] welcome reminder that even after a daunting change, family can still be family." - The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"A beautiful and uplifting book to help children learn how to handle challenges and help others; a great choice for intergenerational picture book shelves." - School Library Journal

"The bond between Lou and [their] loving grandparents shines through in this unique story. The matter-of-factness of their relationship is worth noting, as this type of representation for same-sex couples will help children appreciate the diversity that exists in many families, without overstating it." - Resource Links

"Uplifting and empowering, A Plan for Pops is a great read with inspiring messaging and lovely illustrations." - Glass of Wine, Glass of Milk blog

"A marvelous book on many, many levels and deserves a wide readership. Pick it up for your children, grandchildren, grandparents, or others in your lives, and recommend it to all the children’s librarians you know." - Mombian blog

"Add this one to your go-to list." - Kiss the Book blog

"[Children] will be instantly drawn in by the warmth and love that binds these three characters together." - Youth Services Book Review

“Smith’s characters are real and honest…Kerrigan’s digital artwork…is both engaging and touching.”

- Canadian Children's Book News

“Whatever message a young child gets out of this book, it will be a powerful one… This book is an excellent choice for the pre-school land the early elementary-aged child.” - Must Read Literature: K thru YA

“A warm intergenerational story accompanied by expressive illustrations full of engaging detail.” - The Horn Book Online

“One of those books that bursts out of its ages 3 - 5 range because of its tender, funny pictures and heartwarming storyline that speak to the best in humanity, at any age.” - Spirituality & Practice

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Also Available

Angus All Aglow Heather Smith 9781459814936 $19.95 CAD Sep 11, 2018
Baygirl Heather Smith 9781459802742 $12.95 CAD Sep 01, 2013


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