TV designers and builders Carrino and Colaneri, aka “The Cousins,” teach a bunch of preschoolers how to use tools to build a playground.
The men introduce the children to safety precautions and emphasize the need for adult supervision. They show various tools in action—a wrench, bolts, a shovel, a screwdriver, a tape measure, a level, a hammer and nails, a saw, a drill, a ladder, and paintbrushes—and the kids watch raptly and run around. The pencil-and-watercolor vignettes are attractively busy and convey the excitement of the project, but too many details are missing or inaccurate to adequately explain the building process. The text states “We use a wrench and bolts to assemble the swing set,” but the swing set looks finished (there is a kid on a swing), and there is no visible explanation of the mechanics of this operation. Readers learn that “a screwdriver turns a screw to fasten the cargo net,” but there is no demonstration of how the screwdriver (held by a squirrel) is intended to be used or what a screw is. Descriptions are inaccurate: A tape measure is used “to measure how tall to make the slide”—but in fact it is to calculate where the slide needs to be attached. A level is used to “make sure the monkey bars are straight,” but “straight” does not sufficiently convey the concept of “level.”
A sadly missed opportunity to show kids the real nuts and bolts of construction. (Picture book. 3-6)