Five tools—Hammer, Screwdriver, Tape Measure, Pliers, and Saw—go to school for the first time to learn to build on their skills.
After a rhyming introduction for each tool, they board the bus and are on their way to meet their teacher, Ms. Drill. Dean’s tool characters sport eyes, sometimes glasses or eyelashes (if female), and some have simple, line mouths. Their classroom has many of the same things kids will see on their own first days—desks, crayons, cubbies, scissors, pencils—and the activities are much the same as well: doing puzzles, decorating name tags, singing rhymes and songs. It’s when the building starts that the trouble begins. Each tool tries to make his or her own project, and none of them can complete anything alone. Ms. Drill says, “Working by yourself can be fun galore. / But sometimes a job takes two or more. / Know what you need? It could save the day: / COOPERATION. Say it now, okay?” The tools dutifully chime in, work together, and build a tool box. A spread of tool tips, focusing on safety and picking the right tool for each job, rounds out the book. Uninspiring, pedestrian rhymes and didacticism plague this effort, and the tools have expressions that are limited to happy or sad: up- or downturned mouths or open or half-closed eyes.
Doesn't measure up. (Picture book. 3-7)