A child changes their mind about a previously unwanted gift through a humorous and unexpected course of events.
“You wanted a special house for your dolls. But, surprise! It’s a…toolbox.” So begins this playful story, featuring a nameless young protagonist with straight black hair and brown skin. After a severe disappointment on their birthday when Grandpa offers an unwelcome present, the second-person narration offers helpful suggestions on how to accept the off-base gift with grace: be polite, patient, and appreciative. But “do not: launch it into outer space, feed it to a T. rex, or tie it to a wrecking ball.” The main character promptly puts the spurned present out of mind until a sad bird with a windblown nest motivates them to dig out the toolbox and try their hand at a birdhouse. Soon, an intergenerational construction team is born, to the delight of neighbors in need of a new doghouse and a repair for their mailbox. All the hard work and learning pay off, both for the young woodworker’s community and for the child. Encouraged by their successful projects, the protagonist decides to “buil[d] exactly what [they] wanted: a special house for [their] dolls.” Fans of When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree (2019) will love Deenihan and Rocha’s second effort, with its familiar message about perseverance and open-mindedness.
A lighthearted look at surviving disappointment and the secret joy of learning new things. (Picture book. 5-10)