Kirkus Reviews QR Code
HAMMER AND NAILS by Josh Bledsoe Kirkus Star


by Josh Bledsoe ; illustrated by Jessica Warrick

Pub Date: April 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-9362613-6-9
Publisher: Flashlight Press

When Darcy’s best friend cancels their play date due to illness, her dad saves the day in style.

Darcy-Daddy Day entails doing one item from Daddy’s list followed by one item from Darcy’s, until both lists are done. Darcy isn’t sure about this plan, but Daddy is game, jumping in with both feet to humor his princess: when it’s Dress Up time, he asks, “Were you thinking fancy or super fancy?” And the result is Daddy sporting jeans, a plaid shirt, and a pink tutu. Before the day is done, he also finds himself in a headband and with black nail polish, having mastered manicures. But he’s not the only one to try new things. Darcy mows the lawn (actually, she rides on the mower while dad mows her name in the grass), does laundry (aka a sock fight and matching socks), and, biggest accomplishment of all, hammers nails in the fence that protects her castle. “ ‘You were great with that hammer.’ // ‘And Daddy—you were great with these nails.’ ” Warrick’s watercolor and digital paint illustrations marvelously play up the dichotomy between the burly, tutu-clad white dad and his girly, white daughter, purse full of tools over her shoulder and tiara on her head. And these chores are certainly ones that readers will want to emulate.

Kudos to this dad for not only making chores fun and making the most of time with his daughter, but for meeting her on her level.

(Picture book. 4-8)