What We’ll Build: Plans for Our Together Future

Philomel. Oct. 2020. 48p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780593206751.
PreS-Gr 2–Two white protagonists—an adult male and juvenile female—sketch out their blueprint for the future. The result, more scaffold than story, embodies grand, archetypal themes through tangible objects. The constructed comforts of hearth and home, where even time bends to subjective will, serve as insulation against an antagonistic world. Still, that world can’t be contained indefinitely; indeed, it must be acknowledged. Faced with marauders, witches, and dentists, conflict is inevitable, but dialogue and reconciliation can literally open gateways. When the beyond no longer seems so frightening, exploration beckons, and Jeffers’ boundless, recurring preoccupations—space and sea—welcome intrepid travelers. The duo finally settles down to sleep, exhausted by their planning. If Jeffers’s Here We Are addressed child rearing anxieties as much as it did the shared responsibility of terrestrial caretaking, then this book resolves this tension through solidarity. Jeffers’s maiden voyage in verse floats despite wobble under scansion. Rosy-fingered pink and richly hued violet watercolors swirled with amber, auburn, mauve, and magenta imbue trademark artwork, and digital technology sharpens traditional media while weaving them together. Some spreads, like those of overlaid hands, embrace negative space, but details abound elsewhere: facial hair waxes and wanes, motifs emerge, and cameos crop up to reward the perceptive and persistent.
VERDICT An intensely personal statement of intergenerational fellowship and an obvious pick for library shelves best explored at home.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing