Carpenter’s Helper

Schwartz & Wade/Random/. Mar. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593123201.
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.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing