I admit it, I am a fan of Chris Schwarz’s Lost Art Press publishing company, and I have enjoyed every book I have ordered from them. Months ago, they made an announcement about a children’s book to be published called “Grandpa’s Workshop” by Maurice Pommier. I knew right away this would be a great book for me to read to my son.
My boy is three years old and his is crazy for tools and building things. Before he was three, he could name most of the tools in the Woodcraft catalog. In the midst of a meltdown, I can generally calm him down by offering to look at a woodworking magazine together or watching a woodworking show that I have DVR’d. So this book was perfect for him (and me). BTW, my two oldest girls (10 and 8) have read the book and liked it too, so it is not just for boys.
Here is the official description of the book from the Lost Art Press website:
This 48-page book was translated this year for us by Brian Anderson, an American-born writer and woodworker who lives and works in France. It is ostensibly a book for children, though the stories, lessons and drawing style will appeal to anyone who has an appreciation for the natural and the fantastical.
Pommier paints an unbroken line of craftsmen from a French family, and he traces the history of their lives and their work through their tools and the stories of them being handed from one worker to the other – against the backdrop of colonization, the gold rush, World War I and the time when Dragomir the dragon wreaked havoc in the Black Forest.
The tale is told through the eyes of Sylvain, the youngest of the woodworkers in the family, as he spends his vacation in the shop of his grandfather, whom he calls Pépère. Sylvain wants to learn all about the hand tools in Pépère’s shop and the elves who hide amongst the shavings, benches and tool chests there.
As an added bonus, I am getting good practice with my French names. Thank goodness my wife speaks French!
I find the stories very interesting, but my son likes the pictures the best. There are loads of illustrations of hand tools, and he really enjoys identifying them. So not only does he know the name of all my power tools in my shop, he has now learned the names of tons of hand tools too.
If you have a child or grandchild who likes being in your workshop, then get this book and enjoy a good read together. I have included a link for the Lost Art Press above, so order the book for a holiday or birthday gift, and enjoy some good story time with a child you love.