Galoot Books for Kids

I have two kids to thank for me getting deeper into the galoot world of using mainly non-electric hand tools.  My nephew, who gave me a book called Diary of an Early American Boy that showed how things were built in the olden days of colonial America.  It lead me to start planning the timber frame gazebo.  The other is my son, who spends about half an hour a day with me in the workshop.  For safety reasons, I don’t use any power tools when he is in the shop (with the occasional exception of a cordless drill) and also avoid them for noise reasons when he is sleeping (my shop is right below his room).

Like most parents, we read 8-12 books with him a day.  Many are the same favorites I grew up with, Go-Dog-Go, Goodnight Moon… I have also tried to work in books that deal with woodworking since we share that common language from being in the shop.  Unfortunately he is a little young yet for Roy Underhill’s Working Wood with Wedge and Edge.  So here is what we have enjoyed together so far.

Daddy and Me  by Karen Katz

This is a lift-a-flap board book within a series of similar books from the author (Mommy and Me, Grandpa and Me …) The story shows a boy helping Daddy build a dog house.  It covers the basic idea of measuring, cutting, joining, attaching hardware and painting.  This is all mixed with finding what is hidden by each flap.  The part I like best is that the work is all done with hand tools rather than power tools.  Sure some parts are silly … who keeps nails in a toolbox??  but the basics are there.  On one page there is a cabinet with lots of extra room in it, so I would sketch little tools on bits of paper and tape them in as my son’s interest changes what tools he likes from week to week.   (Yes, he knew the word Ryoba and could say that before he could say Daddy.) This book is appropriate for ages 6 months and up.   Like most board books for little kids, there aren’t many pages (14).

Daddy, Can We Play in the Workshop by Mark Lovett Wells

This book is for kids a little older (18 months and up), and merges black and white photos from the workshop with the story. The dedication says it all “for the Galoots-In-Training”.  It is a nice story about a powertool woodworker who learns to use non-powered tools so he can spend time in the shop with his son.

Diary of an Early American Boy by Eric Sloane

My son is not old enough for this book yet because it can’t be read in one sitting.  However, when he is ready to start listening to books that take a few days to read, then I will start this book with him.  I may even start showing him the illustrations before that, as they are wonderful.

I have found the Handy Manny books, but the stories I have seen don’t seem to really show the kind of connection I wanted.  They are all about animated tools doing things on their own.  They have cute meanings, but not what I was after, though my son does seem to like them well enough too…. but then again he giggles uncontrollably if I say the word “Drool!” so what does he know?  😉