top of page

The Picture Book Buzz

Hammer and Nails - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF + 20 Book Giveaway!

First, the winner of the giveaway for Ánh's New Word: A Story About Learning a New Language is. . .

Jilanne Hoffmann

Congratulations, Jilanne!

Now, have you heard the news? To celebrate Flashlight Press' 20th Anniversary of publishing, they are giving away 20 copies of Hammer and Nails: by Josh Bledsoe, illustrated by Jessica Warrick. Be sure to check out the book's webpage - for some really fun activities and extras. Details on entering the giveaway at the end of the post.

This lively, gorgeous picture book highlights the loving and playful relationship of a dad and daughter.

Book cover - Daughter, wearing a tiara and dress-up shoes, sitting on Daddy's shoulders. With a hammer sticking out of her purse.

Hammer and Nails

Author: Josh Bledsoe

Illustrator: Jessica Warrick

Publisher: Flashlight Press (2016)

Ages: 5-7


Daddy-daughter day, fun chores, sharing, trying new things, and imagination.


Darcy has plans. She and her friend are going to play dress up, do each other’s hair, and polish their nails. Daddy has plans, too. He’s going to read the paper, mow the lawn, and fix the fence. When Darcy’s friend cancels and she’s sure her day is ruined, Daddy suggests that they tackle their to-do lists together with a Darcy-Daddy Day. Daddy dons a tutu, and Darcy gives him a fancy hair do. They groom the lawn with Her Majesty’s Mowing Service and face off in a Daddy-directed sock battle. But will Darcy want to hammer? Will Daddy do nails? Stepping outside their comfort zones, Darcy and Daddy opt to be open-minded and even a bit daring. As Daddy says, “Sometimes things you’ve never done end up being fun!” With a gung-ho attitude, Darcy masters the hammer, and Daddy goes for it with the nails.

Opening Lines:

Darcy crumpled up

her playdate plans

and plopped onto

her bed.

Her best friend

was sick, and now

Darcy’s entire day

was ruined.

Daddy overheard the grumbling

and knocked on Darcy’s door.

What I LOVED about this book:

When Darcy's friend gets sick, Darcy is convinced her day is ruined. But with an ingenious plan, Daddy steps in and offers a Darcy-Daddy Day. Though skeptical, Darcy at least agrees to a relaxing reading moment - as long as she gets chocolate milk. I love Jessica Warrick's perfect capture of Darcy and Daddy's facial expressions and her digitally enhanced, soft watercolor images. And Jessica's addition of the cutest cat and dog.

The special day starts off really well. I remember those twisty straws. I love Darcy's glasses and the dog and cat's hyper focused attentions. What a perfect way to start the day!

Internal image - on the left, Daddy reading the paper with a cup of coffee and a bagel to the side being stared at by the dog. On the right, Darcy in fance pink glasses drinking chocolate milk with a super twisty straw, as the cat stares at birds out the window.

Text © Josh Bledsoe, 2024. Image © Jessica Warrick, 2024.

Item one on Dad's list done. Now it's time for Darcy's list. Number one - dressing up. When Daddy asks, "were you thinking fancy or super fancy?" Darcy dreamily imagines Daddy dressed as a prince. After donning a fancy dress, tiara, and oversized dress, Darcy's reduced to giggles when Daddy reappears wearing a tutu. The next couple of spreads of them mowing the yard are so cute! Daddy really outdoes himself.

Next, "We need to freshen up. It's time for Hair Salon."

Internal spread - on left, Daddy & Darcy shaking grass out of their hair. On the upper right, four spot illustrations of Daddy and Darcy doing funny hairdos on each other.  Lower right, Daddy and Darcy showing off their new hairdos through a gold picture frame.

Text © Josh Bledsoe, 2024. Image © Jessica Warrick, 2024.

Oh my gosh, Jessica Warrick out did herself with these humorous and touching spot illustrations, which so beautifully expand and play with Josh Bledsoe's succinct, imaginative text. Back to Daddy's list . . . laundry.

Internal spread - on left, Daddy and Darcy having a "sock war"  On the right, each of them narrowly dodges a thrown sock.

Text © Josh Bledsoe, 2024. Image © Jessica Warrick, 2024.

Okay, this is the BEST way to sort socks! Wish I'd thought of this years ago. As an extra bit of humor woven through the illustrations, kids will enjoy following the antics of the dog and cat throughout the pages. The second half of this "battle," celebration dancing, and recovery are so adorable!

Suddenly faced with the last two items on both lists, both Darcy and Daddy baulk, with funny worries and expressions. Only to be reminded by each other that "sometimes things you've never done end up being fun." This book tenderly and gorgeously captures their loving, encouraging, and playful relationship, without being didactic. You'll love the play on words in the title and the two sets of end papers. It is a perfect book for Father's Day, or any day as a heartfelt celebration of the loving bond of a father and daughter.


Photo collage of 8 of 15 ideas for sock toys.

If you missed my interview with Jessica Warrick on Monday, find it (here).

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions and resources see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

🎈🎉 Hammer and Nails - MEGA Book Giveaway 🎉🎈

Awesome news! Flashlight Press is offering 20 - that's right- 20 lucky readers a copy of Hammer and Nails.

- Simply comment below or on Jessica Warrick's interview post on Monday (here) to be entered in the random drawing on June 10th. Just in time for Father's day!

- Be sure to say where (if) you shared the post (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Bluesky), and I'll add additional entries for you.

- Sorry US Residents only.

Bình luận

Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

Follow Me

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • 1473394675_goodreads
  • Pinterest



bottom of page