This is not your average children’s book! While woodworking tools might seem a rather dry subject for kids, this richly illustrated tale of tools is a work of great imagination, grounded partly in reality and partly in fantasy. Intended as much for adult readers as it is for children, it is filled with colorful, entertaining and sometimes dark detail that will remind some readers of Tim Burton’s films or the Brothers Grimm tales.

First published in France with the title Dans L’Atelier De Pépère, it explores the world of hand tools through the eyes of a boy named Sylvain, the youngest of a family of woodworkers. As he spends time learning the craft in his grandfather’s workshop, he hears stories that trace the history of his grandpa’s tools as they have been passed from generation to generation. Along the way, various traditional tools, from an English handsaw to a besaigue, become characters in the narrative, alongside elves and even a dragon. The stories and full-color illustrations reveal a deep appreciation for hand tools and serve as a wonderful way to open young eyes to the history and significance of woodworking traditions. A rare gem.

Hardcover, 9 1/2" × 12", 48 pages, 2012.

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