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Orca LGBTQ+ through March 2023

A Plan for Pops
By (author): Heather Smith Illustrated by: Brooke Kerrigan
Heather Smith ,

Illustrated by :

Brooke Kerrigan


Orca Book Publishers - Victoria



Product Form:


Form detail:

Trade, Picture book, Laminated cover
Paperback , Trade, Picture book, Laminated cover


Juvenile: Age (years) 3 - 5, Grade (CAN) P - K, Grade (US) P - K, Reading age 3 - 5
Sep 14, 2021
Print Run: 6000
$12.95 CAD


9in x 9 x 0.13 in | 160 gr

Page Count:

32 pages
FSC certified – mixed sources C106973
Orca Book Publishers
JUVENILE FICTION / Family / Multigenerational
Children’s / Teenage fiction: Family and home stories|Children’s picture books|Children’s / Teenage personal and social topics: LGBTQ+|Children’s / Teenage personal and social topics: Families and family members|Children’s / Teenage personal and social topics: Disability, impairments and special needs|Interest age: from c 3 years|Relating to late adulthood / old age|Relating to gay people
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 BC Books for BC Schools 2021, Commended
  • Short Description
In this illustrated picture book, a child helps their grandfathers deal with a difficult change in abilities.
This complex contraption has one simple task: to make Pops smile.

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

"A beautiful and uplifting book." —School Library Journal

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 Unable to cope with his new circumstances, he becomes withdrawn and shuts himself in his room.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.

Key Selling Points

  • Now available in paperback for the first time.
  • A Plan for Pops follows a young child who tries to cheer up their grandparent after an accident.
  • This book features same-sex grandparents, a loving intergenerational family and a unique STEM component with the creation of a Rube Goldberg machine.
  • Like the author's bestselling picture book Angus All Aglow, the text conveys a powerful message of love, togetherness and gentle healing.
  • A Plan for Pops was shortlisted for the Blue Spruce Award and was an OLA Best Bets and ALA Rainbow Top Ten selection.
  • Heather Smith's picture book The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota's Garden received four starred reviews and won the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award and the Freeman Book Award for Children's Literature on East and Southeast Asia.
  • A Plan for Pops is also available in French as Une idée pour Papi (9781459822054).

Heather Smith is the author of several picture books, including the award-winning The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota's Garden. Her middle-grade novel Ebb and Flow was shortlisted 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, the OLA Forest of Reading White Pine Award and was shortlisted for the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award and the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People. Originally from Newfoundland, Heather now lives in Waterloo, Ontario, with her family.

Contributor Website

Brooke Kerrigan has loved drawing 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. Brooke has illustrated over 10 picture books, including design-award-winning Fishermen Through & Through and the Blue Spruce honor book The Little Boy Who Lived Down the Drain. Born in Toronto, she currently lives with her husband in the French Alps.

Marketing and Promotional Plans

  • Print and online advertising campaigns
  • Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade conferences
  • Extensive ARC distribution
  • Blog and social media promotion
  • Outreach in Orca newsletters

"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

Waking Ben Doldrums Heather Smith 9781459833913 $21.95 CAD Mar 14, 2023
The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota's Garden Heather Smith 9781459821033 $21.95 CAD Sep 17, 2019
Angus All Aglow Heather Smith 9781459814936 $19.95 CAD Sep 11, 2018
Baygirl Heather Smith 9781459802742 $12.95 CAD Sep 01, 2013
Pride Puppy! Robin Stevenson 9781459824843 $21.95 CAD May 11, 2021

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