Carpenter's Helper

by Sybil Rosen (Author) Camille Garoche (Illustrator)

Carpenter's Helper
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

A warm, wonderful picture book that gently reminds us of the importance of respecting our natural world and highlights the joys and rewards of helping others. Join a girl as she helps a mama and papa bird build a nest in her bathroom, hatch their eggs, and teach their babies to fly away.

Renata and her Papi are hard at work at renovating their bathroom. Renata can't wait to build castles of bubbles in the deep, old-fashioned bathtub. But one morning, she finds dried leaves and pine needles heaped on a shelf in the corner. How did they get there? She soon realizes that a bird has built a nest on the shelf, and inside it are four rosy eggs! Weeks pass, and Renata watches as the wrens come and go, building a home in her bathroom... until, one day, with a little help from Renata, the birds are ready to fly.


Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review

Renata is a protagonist whose wonder and curiosity shine throughout, and readers will gladly share in her unexpected encounters with these small visitors, who are, as Renata declares, carpenters too. 

Copyright 2021 Kirkus Reviews, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Renata, an Afro-Latinx child with brown skin and two Afro puffs, is helping her bearded, bespectacled Papi complete the construction of their new bathroom. But their work comes to a halt one morning when the pair discover an unexpected visitor: "It's a little bird--a wren!--peppy and plump, with an upturned tail." The wren weaves a nest with his partner on the shelf of an open bathroom cabinet, and soon enough, "four rosy eggs with red-brown blotches" hatch. Rosen's prose is keenly observed, from the steps the birds take to build the beautiful little nest to the fledglings' flight lessons. Excelling in natural illustrations with a slightly cartoonish bent, Garoche offers fine-lined pencil art colored digitally in a soft color palette. This gentle story, with its respect for family, nature, construction, and collaboration, will lift readers' spirits as surely as Renata boosts the wrens. Ages 3-7. (Mar.)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Gr 1-3--In this lovingly told story, Renata and her father, both Black, are remodeling their bathroom. Renata helps her father with supplies and assists him with holding boards. When the weather warms, they leave a hole in the wall open where they plan to put a window. The next morning, Renata discovers a pair of wrens have started to make their nest on the shelf of a hanging curio cabinet. Renata and her father put their bathroom remodel on hold as they spend the next few weeks watching the wrens build their nest, lay eggs, and take care of their babies. When it is finally time to fledge, the babies get stuck in the slippery old-fashioned tub and Renata comes to the rescue with a board to give them a halfway point to rest on their way to the window. Renata's father calls her "carpenter's helper" for the myriad ways she has come to the rescue. Caroche's sweet paintings show this very small human family at work, imbuing each pose with dynamism and emotion, and that's true of the wrens, too, intricately detailed and full of personality. VERDICT A low-key story about patience and its rewards; readers will enjoy Renata and her father's careful tending as the wrens settle in.--Lia Carruthers, Gill St. Bernard's Sch., Gladstone, NJ

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Excelling in natural illustrations with a slightly cartoonish bent, Garoche offers fine-lined pencil art colored digitally in a soft color palette. This gentle story, with its respect for family, nature, construction, and collaboration, will lift readers' spirits as surely as Renata boosts the wrens." —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Sybil Rosen
Sybil Rosen is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, and playwright. She received a Fellowship in Playwriting/Screenwriting from The New York State Council on the Arts. Her young adult novel, Speed of Light, published by Simon & Schuster, won the Sydney Taylor Award for Older Readers and was nominated for the Mark Twain Award. Riding the Dog, a collection of short stories which all take place on a Greyhound bus, won the Gold Medal for Fiction/Short Story for The Readers' Favorite International Book Award. She is the author of Living in the Woods in a Tree: Remembering Blaze Foley, which was recently adapted for the movie BLAZE. Sybil co-wrote the screenplay for the film, which was directed by Ethan Hawke.

Camille Garoche studied at the École des Beaux-Arts de Cergy and the Maryse Eloy. Her 3-D, cut-paper illustrations have been exhibited throughout Europe. She is the author-illustrator of Fox's Garden and The Snow Rabbit. Camille lives in Paris with her partner and two daughters. Visit her at camille.garoche.me, or follow her on Instagram (@camille_garoche_illustatrice) and Twitter (@PrincesseCamca.)

Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9780593123201
Lexile Measure
570L
Guided Reading Level
N/A
Publication date
March 20, 2021
Series
-

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