cover image Carpenter’s Helper

Carpenter’s Helper

Sybil Rosen, illus. by Camille Garoche. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-12320-1

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. [em](Mar.) [/em]