When Grandpa Gives You a Toolbox

Publisher: Sterling Children's Books

What should you do when Grandpa gives you a toolbox you really don’t want? You might want to find imaginative ways to get rid of it (launching it into outer space, for example). This tongue-in-cheek picture book suggests that you put your imagination to work with the toolbox and build something you really want instead.

The illustrations complement the simple but humorous text, showing us a refreshingly non-stereotypical boy and a supportive family. The boy and his family are dark-skinned and live in a multi-ethnic suburban neighbourhood. The story leads the reader through the stages of being gracious about a present they can’t see the point of, being patient while grown ups explain its use to you, being willing to give it a try and finally being able to use your new skills to help others and make friends. It carries a nuanced message about never giving up on the real you, but also being open to learning new things.

There is so much of value in this book.  Readers, especially boys, desperately need books like this that help them build positive identities.  Fans of Julian Is a Mermaid or Rosie Revere, Engineer, will find similar values here.

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