Learning the Trades with Whose Tools?

For STEM Friday we are excited to be participating on the blog tour for the interactive board book, Whose Tools? by Toni Buzzeo and illustrated by Jim Datz.

Many different specialized workers, or trades, use many different tools to build a house:

  • Masons
  • Carpenters
  • Plumbers
  • Electricians
  • Roofers
  • Painters

While exploring Whose Tools? youngsters learn to identify 24 different tools from cartoon illustrations and figure out which tradespeople might use them based on the clues provided. Readers then lift a gatefold page to see workers using those tools.

Toni Buzzeo is a librarian at heart and has published a number of children’s books. Her expertise is evident as this book is entirely age appropriate. It is short, interactive, and clever.

Although the book has been released right in time to share for Father’s Day, it would also work for Mother’s Day, as evidenced by the illustrations which show a diversity of workers, including female carpenters, roofers, etc. Coming from a family where my mom was a carpenter (she built her own horse barn almost single-handedly), I applaud illustrator Jim Datz!

Whose Tools? is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers who are interested in adult tools, but is also sure to intrigue most young readers. Be prepared to read this one again and again!

Related Activities:

  1. Be sure to check Toni Buzzeo’s webpage for awesome (and free!) .pdf teaching guides and activity sheets to accompany the book (scroll down).
  2. Tara Lazar has a lively interview with Toni Buzzeo and a Whose Tools? book giveaway (until end of June 2015).
  3. Gather some toy plastic tools and set up this shape matching activity for toddlers. Then let the children free play with the tools.
  4. Look for kid project workshops/clinics at your local home center (Home Depot, Lowe’s etc.) They are usually on Saturday mornings, are free, and the projects are fun. Check for recommended ages. They often have construction project kits to purchase, as well.

Age Range: 2 – 4 years
Board book: 16 pages
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; Ltf Brdbk edition (May 5, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1419714317
ISBN-13: 978-1419714313

Note: Tony Buzzeo is also the author of the Caldecott winner, One Cool Friend, illustrated by David Small.



Disclosures: This book was provided for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.

What Kids A-B-See from the Backseat

Do you have any toddlers or preschoolers on your book-buying list? You might want to check out Backseat A-B-See by Maria van Lieshout. Backseat-A-B-See

At a certain age, children are fascinated with the same road signs that we jaded adults tend to tune out. Maria van Lieshout celebrates this interest as an educational opportunity, using the first letters of various road signs to encourage children to learn the alphabet. As she points out, the bright colors and highly contrasting look of road signs are developmentally appropriate for that age range.

Did you know that some US road sign designs have actually won awards? At Nerdy Book Club, Maria tells how she got the idea for the book from her son and also the “ins-and-outs” (sorry) of road sign design. Cool!

Here’s a cute little trailer for the book:

Backseat A-B-See will make you take a second look at road signs. Share it with a toddler near you.

Reading age:  Toddler/Preschooler
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books (April 11, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1452106649
ISBN-13: 978-1452106649




Tons of Trucks is Tons of Fun

If you are a Sue Fliess fan like I am, you will be pleased to hear her new interactive book Tons of Trucks, which is illustrated by Betsy Snyder, is coming out this week. Written in fast-paced rhyme and illustrated with surprises, this book will be a sure winner with the youngest set.

Young children absolutely love to read about trucks and construction equipment. They also love interactive books with plenty of items to explore, move and touch. This book has a wealth of scoops to swing and cargoes to reveal  (The tar truck is going to be an extra fun surprise, but I won’t spoil it by giving away the secret.) Each vehicle is driven by a cute animal to identify, which will add to the excitement.

Parents will love that the paper is high quality and the pop-ups and pull-outs are carefully engineered to make them easy to move. It will stand up to loving use by young children. Parents may also value the book because, as well as engaging children, the interactive features help develop wee ones’ motor skills.

Tons of Trucks is a special book for small children that you are sure to be reading together again and again.

Check out the cute book trailer:

Bonus activities for the youngsters:

In addition to reading the book, playing with toy cars and trucks can be a fun way to learn. Children may

  • Learn or reinforce their knowledge of colors,
  • Practice some important math and science skills such as sorting,
  • Develop vocabulary.

Pull out an assortment of small toy cars and trucks.

1. Sorting

During a break in the play encourage children to sort the cars and trucks into piles by color. Show them how by sorting all the blue cars and trucks into a pile. Then find all the green cars, etc.

Once they have mastered colors, try sorting by size, pointing out the words big and small used in the book.

2. Identifying

With a variety of toy vehicles, identify a regular car, race car, a dump truck, a fire truck. Talk about the characteristics, such as the big wheels of a monster truck or the ladder on a fire truck. Show how the vehicles are the same (they all have wheels), and how they are different (trucks have a bed for carrying things).

There’s nothing like a great book to inspire hours of fun!

Ages: Up to 3
Hardcover: 18 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books (Releases July 3, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0547449275
ISBN-13: 978-0547449272

Book supplied by the publisher for review purposes.

Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. We invite you to join us. For more information and a schedule, stop by Booktalking to see who is hosting each week.

This week’s round-up is at Booktalking.

Play Baby Play!

There’s something about a board book that just makes you want to cuddle up with a child and read him or her a story. Play Baby Play! by author and illustrator Marilyn Janovitz, an adorable account of Baby on a play date, is a perfect example.

Rolling on the rug
Frolicking on the floor
These little babies want

Marilyn Janovitz knows what is appropriate for babies. The illustrations are simple and colorful. The text contains both rhyming and repetition. The soft roundness of the babies’ faces is captivating. Babies are going to love this book.

Although I usually review books for older children, I jumped at the chance to talk about this one because board books for babies are so important. Reading Play Baby Play! (or a similar book) for a few minutes with a baby is not only enjoyable, but is also a crucial step to early literacy. According to the Zero to Three organization, attempting to teach babies and toddlers to read is not developmentally appropriate, but allowing them to turn pages and chew on a board book is exactly the right thing to do.

Play Baby Play! would be a wonderful gift for a new baby. You also might want to look for the companion board books, Baby Baby Baby! and Go Baby Go!

Time to go read to a baby.

For more information about early literacy, try the free .pdf file What We Know About Early Literacy and Language Development available on the Early Literacy and Language Tips and Tools page at Zero to Three (The link is third on the list).

Reading level: Ages 1 and up [Board Book]
Board book: 24 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky; (April 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1402262248
ISBN-13: 978-1402262241

The book was provided by the publisher for review purposes.