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*Tools* by Taro Miura
by Taro Miura
Grades PreK-1 52 pages Chronicle Books July 2006 Hardcover    

I really wanted to like this book because the premise is simple, interesting, and has the potential to educate and entertain. Tools begins with pictures of the tools used in a particular occupation, followed by a picture of a person actually using the equipment along with the identification of that career choice. So, for example, the first set of tools includes a saw, nails, a chisel, a clamp, a hammer and a try square, followed by a picture of a carpenter hard at work. There is also an illustration of an open-ended wrench, an adjustable wrench, a slotted screwdriver, a set of pliers, and some nuts, washers and bolts, followed by a mechanic performing his duties.

My biggest problem with Tools is that, despite its good intentions, it fails to select and appeal to a single audience. Specifically, the structure of the guessing game is geared toward young children, yet some of the items are so advanced they may not be recognizable by parents, not to mention the young children who seem to be the intended audience. I do not think that it is common knowledge that a soldering wire or soldering iron is used by an electrician, or that a loupe or case holder is used by a watchmaker. This type of information is more suitable for older children (or even adults), but those same children would likely be too advanced to enjoy the list of items used by the doctor, gardener or chef.

Tools is a wonderful concept with a not-so-wonderful execution which, unfortunately, makes it a less than appealing apparatus to educate or entertain your child.

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  Lori West/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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