Toni Buzzeo is the author of the 2013 Caldecott Honor Book and New York Times bestseller One Cool Friend, as well as many other books for children. A former elementary school librarian and secondary-school teacher, she now lives with her husband in both Buxton, Maine, and Sarasota, Florida.
Which five words best describe Whose Tools?
Fun, informative, inspiring, challenging, diverse.
If you had to take a vacation with one of the characters from your book, who would it be? Why?
I can’t tell you how much I love that woman roofer way up on that roof with her nail gun!
Can you imagine how she’d feel about climbing a mountain or traversing a rope bridge? Maybe we’d go to Costa Rica together, a place I’ve never been (though I’ve been to Africa three times) and she’d challenge me to relinquish my fear of falling from a great height!
What has been the best reaction from a reader of Whose Tools?, so far?
I have so enjoyed the praise we’ve heard about the diversity in the book [“Women are well represented among Datz’s carpenters, roofers, electricians, plumbers, and painters (who are drawn in a range of skin tones), providing a subtle “you could do this, too” message…” ~ Publishers Weekly starred review], but by far this set of two photos is the best reaction, first Logan enjoying the text and illustrations with his dad, Derek, and his mom, Jen, and then Logan enjoying the board book in the way babies do best!
What’s on your nightstand? Any books?
Goodness yes! I have two children’s novels from the library, Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell and Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia. Then there’s a lamp, my iPad, a candle, and my earplugs. I also have a huge pile of picture books over on the desk because it’s too wobbly to set on the nightstand!
For your writing energy: sugar or salt, tea or coffee?
Definitely Earl Grey tea and a Kind nut bar—the sort with lots of nuts and a pinch of sweet-and-salt.
Writing tools: computer, pen and paper, or all of the above?
Mostly my MacBook Air, whose name is Elizabeth, but in a pinch, pen and paper, especially when I’ve just started a manuscript.
Can you tell us one more thing we may not know about Whose Tools?, your writing style, or yourself?
My husband, Ken Cyll, is a silent co-author of the book. He’s an engineer and a woodworker and when I told him my idea, he jumped on it (practically to the point of harassment as he regularly repeated this question, “When are we going to start that book?”) His knowledge was absolutely invaluable throughout the writing and development process and the book is dedicated to him!
Written by Toni Buzzeo, Illustrated by Jim Datz
Ages 2-4 | Publisher: Harry N. Abrams | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1419714313