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A Plan for Pops

by (author) Heather Smith

illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Sep 2021
English Language Arts
Grade Levels
k to 2
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2019
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Feb 2019
    List Price
  • Downloadable audio file

    Publish Date
    Feb 2019
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2021
    List Price

Where to buy it

Descriptive Review

Lou has a close bond with his gay grandparents, Grandad and Pops. Although Pops is young at heart, his legs don’t work like they used to, and he needs to use a wheelchair after experiencing a fall. Many weeks pass, and Pops retreats into isolation. Lou wants to help make Pops happy and designs a Rube Goldberg machine that cheers him up. Pops’s recovery is a bit simplistic, but the book’s overall messages about aging and intergenerational relationships are valuable. With help from a teacher, young readers may understand the cycle of life as a balance between being independent and being dependent on others. Additionally, the book is a reminder of the benefits of having relationships with grandparents and understanding that they were young once too.

32 pp., 9 × 9", colour illustrations

Source: Association of Book Publishers of BC - BC Books for Schools (2021-2022)

About the authors

Heather Smith's profile page



BROOKE KERRIGAN grew up surrounded by books and the love of art. Now she has illustrated more than a dozen books including Fishermen Through & Through, A Plan for Pops and the Blue Spruce Award Honour Books The Little Boy Who Lived Down the Drain and Kiss Me! I’m a Prince.


Her fun and whimsical illustrations are created in watercolour, gouache, pencil crayon and collage. Born and raised in Toronto, she now splits her time between Tiny, Ontario and a little town in the French Alps called Chamonix. Visit her at


Brooke Kerrigan's profile page


  • Commended, BC Books for BC Schools
  • Short-listed, Blue Spruce Award
  • Commended, ALA Rainbow List Top Ten
  • Commended, OLA Best Bets—Top Ten
  • Commended, Best Spiritual Book of the Year
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection

Editorial Reviews

"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 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

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

Canadian Children's Book News

“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

“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

"Add this one to your go-to list."

Kiss the Book 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

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

Kirkus Reviews

“A warm intergenerational story accompanied by expressive illustrations full of engaging detail.”

The Horn Book Online

"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

"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

"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

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

Youth Services Book Review