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BOOK REVIEWS

MR. NOGGINBODY GETS A HAMMER by David Shannon

Mr. Nogginbody snags his sock on the floor while sliding across it. Looking at the nail sticking up slightly from the floor, Mr. Nogginbody wonders

How in the world do I fix this thing?

At the Hardware Store he is told what he saw was a nail and that to fix it he needs a hammer. Mr. Nogginbody returns home with his hammer. Through a little trial and error he figures out how to use the hammer to tap the nail down until it’s flush with the floor’s surface and joyfully exclaims:

I fixed it!

The problems begin when Mr. Nogginbody tries to apply the hammer as a solution to every problem he feels needs ‘fixing,’ or any object he sees that resembles a nail. His big revelation comes when he attempts to hit a fly with the hammer. The fly flies away and Mr. Nogginbody realizes it’s not a nail. This leads to his realization:

Whoa…Maybe I can’t fix everything with a hammer. Because not everything is a nail.

The illustrations are two-dimensional with a cartoon-like feel similar to Shannon’s David books–although the colors are more muted than I’m used to seeing in David Shannon’s work.

I loved the message and the idea of Mr. Nogginbody Gets a Hammer more than I actually liked the book, itself. I’m not sure if the message of the book is clear enough to its intended (young) readers. Mr. Nogginbody is definitely more of a read-aloud choice for home or classroom. It would work wonderfully when you want to introduce concepts of cause and effect, or the idea of specific tools for specific goals/tasks–literal or metaphoriphical.

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