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WORKSHOP by Andrew Clements


by Andrew Clements

Pub Date: April 19th, 1999
ISBN: 0-395-85579-9
Publisher: Clarion Books

Handsomely illustrated with cut-paper art by Wisniewski (The Secret Knowledge of Grown-Ups, 1998, etc.), this homage to tools from Clements (Frindle, 1996, etc.) conveys a sense of their beauty and mystery. The making of an old-fashioned carousel is the never-mentioned, ever-present event as a baker’s dozen of tools—ruler, saw, grinder, screwdriver, wrench, etc.—and the toolbox are introduced in a few lines each, one to each spread. The clipped text evokes not just the attributes of the tool—that the wrench wrestles with its work, that the axe finds the board that hides in the log—but a hint, if fanciful, of their character: drills are patient, rulers know, knives are edgy, the toolbox remembers. The text is occasionally staccato (“Toolbox carries tools home. Workshop is home”) but mostly has a good poetic pulse. The illustrations are pure entertainment, slowly revealing that the workmen and apprentice are using their fine old tools to put together a turn-of-the-century carousel. (Picture book. 4-8)