#883 – Hammer and Nails by Josh Bledsoe and Jessica Warrick

HammerAndNails9781936261369 Hammer and Nails
Written by Josh Bledsoe
Illustrated by Jessica Warrick
Flashlight Press   4/10/2016
32 pages    Ages 4—8

“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 a Darcy-Daddy Day.

“But will Daddy play dress up? Will Darcy like yard work?” [inside jacket]

Darcy lays on her bed upset. Daddy dares to enter and discovers why his princess is so distraught. When he hears Darcy’s friend will not be sharing the day with his daughter, he suggests the two spend the day together, calling it a “Darcy-Daddy Day.” Each have a list of things they want to do and plan to take turns crossing things off their lists. First up, a morning coffee (or chocolate milk), while reading the paper.

coffee and chocolate milk

Daddy is a good sport—and a super dad—as he spends the day with Darcy. For dress up, Daddy appears wearing a pink tutu, with his jeans a checked flannel shirt. Darcy dresses as a princess. Then it is time for one off Daddy’s to-do list. In the backyard, riding a lawn mower-turn-princess carriage, the pair mows the lawn—Darcy’s castle. As the day progresses, Daddy and Darcy complete all the items on each of their lists, ending the “Darcy-Daddy Day.” exhausted but happy, very happy.

Hammer and Nails is a perfect Father’s Day book. Dads are not represented in picture books as they should, usually being the one out of the house for the day. Hammer and Nails takes a day and turns it on its heels. Mom? She’s out of the picture. It is all Daddy and Darcy, all day. Both must do things they never envisioned themselves doing—hammering and painting nails. Daddy expresses the perfect attitude, telling his daughter,

“Princess, sometimes things you’ve never done end up being fun.”

Darcy takes Daddy’s hammer in hand and learns to fix a fence—securing Darcy’s castle—finding hammering to be a fun activity. When it is time for Daddy to paint nails, Darcy returns his philosophy. Should dads ever need instructions on how to spend the day with their daughter, Hammer and Nails fits the bill.


In watercolors and digital paint, Warrick’s illustrations capture the “Darcy-Daddy Day” perfectly. Daddy does not look like a man who would willingly wear a tutu, yet he does. Adding to the humor of the story, Warrick adds a (Daddy’s) dog and (Darcy’s) cat. I love the spread of Daddy painting Darcy’s fingernails. The cat sits under the table and laughs. That’s what it looks like to me. If the cat is not laughing, I sure am. By day’s end, Daddy’s tutu is stained green from the lawn and Darcy’s purse becomes a tool belt.

Hammer and Nails shows compromise and compassion, along with spirit and sensitivity. Bledsoe never hammers in his message, instead letting his two characters show us how creativity and willingness to “simply be” with your kids can brighten both you and your child’s day. Darcy and Daddy happily enjoy their day, sometimes confused, sometimes unsure, but always with the perfect spirit. Hammer and Nails is a terrific book to share with dad on his day.

Hammer and Nails is author Josh Bledsoe’s debut children’s book.

HAMMER AND NAILS. Text copyright © 2016 by Josh Bledsoe. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Jessica Warrick. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Flashlight Press, Brooklyn, NY.

AmazonBook DepositoryIndie BooksApple BooksFlashlight Press.

Find Hammer and Nails on Goodreads HERE.

Debut Author, Josh Bledsoe:  short biography
Follow on Twitter         @JPBledsoe

Jessica Warrick:  http://jessicawarrick.com/
Follow on Twitter          @Jessica_Warrick

Flashlight Press:  http://www.flashlightpress.com/
Follow on Twitter          @FlashlightPress

Reprinted with permission from HAMMER AND NAILS © 2016 by Josh Bledsoe, Flashlight Press, Illustrations © 2016 by Jessica Warrick.

Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Full Disclosure: Hammer and Nails by Josh Bledsoe & Jessica Warrick, and received from Flashlight Press, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. 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.”

Hammer and Nails
Written by Josh Bledsoe
Illustrated by Jessica Warrick
Flashlight Press 4/10/2016


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