Tools Rule! by Aaron Meshon

Tools!  Happy, brightly colored, anthropomorphic tools!  But these are not your run-of-the-mill anthropomorphic tools! No, siree!  These tools work together to build a tool shed!  Large font, a dialogue-driven story, and hard-working, cooperative tools make it a win! Oh, and there are glorious puns, homonyms, and onomatopoeic words that add an extra level of joy (and covert teaching opportunities).  Meshon clearly knows the inner workings of my son’s mind and has conveniently laid it out in picture book format.  Tools Rule! rules, indeed!

Ages 3+.  Atheneum Books for Young Readers.  March 2013. 48 pages. ISBN: 978-1442496019. Fiction.

Where to Get it:

Why You Should Read Tools Rule! (Here’s what’s in it for you.)

  • It’s an inviting book for early readers.  The LARGE FONT and layout makes reading easy.  A word here and there on the page is much less intimidating for early readers than large blocks of text.
  • Sound effects are good times at any age and Tools Rule! is full of them.
  • Nice, happy tools working together — there’s no conflict! Positive, happy, cooperative goodness!
  • The story, in addition to being about building a shed, emphasizes organization and cleaning up a mess.
  • Leads to some great discussions about construction!  Why do you need a level?  How are doors attached?  What is an awl?
  • Fun with puns and homonyms!
  • Funny!  Lots of good laughs for both kids and adults.
  • The illustrations are just right.  Bright colors with bold lines and happy faces make it fun.
  • It’s a great book to read together and an accessible book that little ones can read on their own.
  • If you read the fine print, you’ll learn who Chubu is — and that’ll make you smile.

How My Three-and-a Half-Year-Old Son Responds to this Book:

He loves this book!  At the library, he made a beeline for it, grabbed it off the shelf, sat down in the middle of the floor, and started to read it.  He would not let go of the book and carried it with him all the way home.  I didn’t hear a peep from him while we were in the car and that! dear people, is a very. rare. occasion.  Once we were home it was imperative that we read it together immediately (after hand washing — to his dismay).  We then read it one thousand six hundred and fifty two times in a row — or something close to it.  (I may have lost count or could be exaggerating.  Hard to say.)  I’m sure by the time we return Tools Rule!  we will have actually read it more than that.

At some point each day over the past two weeks I have found my eldest in the middle of the living room floor reading through this book.  He’s enthralled with it!  He thinks it is so great that they build a shed.  (It is awesome.)  Now he wants to build one, too.  Sounds like fun to me.

Author/Illustrator Websites:

Other Reviews of this Book:

Where Obtained: The Library.  Reviewing this book because I can. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

FTC Disclosures:  Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links and others are IndieBound affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. This goes to fund my family’s picture book habit.  It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


      • I hadn’t thought about posting it, but will let you know when I get it done. We are making BINGO style games for different age levels and asking the kids to read something from each category as part of the summer reading program. I’ve been compiling lists of sample titles for each category to get the kids and families started. Here’s what’s in Early Lit Tools and Construction category so far:

        Lewis, Kevin. Big Machines! Big Buildings! Scholastic, 2001.

        Burton, Virginia Lee. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. HMH Books for Young Readers, 1939.

        Dotlich, Rebecca Kai. What Can a Crane Pick Up? Alfred A. Knopf, 2012.


        • Thank you! I like the BINGO style idea. That sounds like a great idea.

          I haven’t heard of Big Machines! Big Buildings! I will definitely have to check this out.

          Dig, Dogs, Dig and Build, Dogs, Build are two of my family’s absolute favorites. Have you see these? They’re really excellent. I received them for review, but have bought copies for my son’s cousins we like them so much.


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