Book Review: When Grandpa Gives You A Toolbox

By Jamie L. B. Deenihan; Illustrated by Lorraine Rocha

By Amanda Elshahawi, Creator, Enchanted Literacy June 8, 2022

Recommended Ages 3 - 7 year olds

Perfect for upcoming Father’s Day, this picture book follows interactions between grandson and grandfather. In this twist of life giving you lemons, we follow a young birthday boy who was dreaming of a dollhouse for his toys but instead receives an unwanted gift... a toolbox. As the boy interacts with his grandfather, we read how to receive a gift gracefully despite the disappointment and what not to do; launch it into outer space or feed it to a T-Rex. After listening to Grandpa tell his stories the boy finds a hiding spot for the toolbox so he can forget about it. While digging a hole to hide the box he sees a bird with a windblown nest, giving him an idea. “Maybe Grandpa’s toolbox will be useful just this one time.”

Building one bird house, with the help of an experienced project manager (grandpa), leads to a series of projects that help their friends. He becomes the neighborhood fix-it man. With this new skill, he creates a plan to build exactly what he wanted, a dollhouse, and keeps his momentum by creating plans for more creative projects.

This storyline brings intergenerational collaboration and can help inspire young readers to look outside the box for creativity. We have even more reasons to love this book like its subtle push against gender stereotypes, inclusivity of characters and kindness shared throughout the neighborhood. We recommend this read to celebrate Father’s Day, or just to spark curiosity of thought and exploration. You can pair it with a free event at your local Home Depot on Saturdays where you can join a workshop to create your very own project!

Amanda is a preschool teacher, mother and avid Central Park picnicker. She values community and is an advocate for families in the foster care system. One day she hopes to publish a children's book of her own. In the meantime, you can follow her Instagram, Enchanted Literacy, which encourages imagination and passion for reading.