Monday, June 3, 2024

Happy Book Birthday, Ruby's Tools For Making Friends by Apryl Stott!

Yay! It's time to shout-out another book birthday. This one releases tomorrow, and telling by the cover, promises to be a super cute read. As the title suggests, this one should rotate around the struggles of forming new friendships. I have a feeling that especially the illustrations are going to be a treat.

by Apryl Stott
Paula Wiseman Books
Picture Book
40 pages
ages 4 to 8

A little fox uses tools to overcome anxiety and make friends at her new school in this heartfelt picture book from the creator of the New York Times bestseller Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light !

It’s Ruby the fox’s first day at a new school. She’s a little nervous, but luckily, she has her tools to a tape measure to count her breaths if she feels overwhelmed, pliers to remind her to be flexible, and safety goggles to see things in a new way.

When Ruby finds out her class is having an egg drop competition, she wants to share her ideas, but she feels shy surrounded by all her talkative classmates. Can she use her tools to find the confidence to speak up, and maybe even make some new friends?


A cute fox, handy tools, and first-day-of-school nerves come together in an encouraging read packed full of adorable characters.

Ruby is off to her first day at a brand new school, and she’s nervous. Finding friends isn’t easy, especially since she tends to get overly nervous about things. With her tools on her school bag (a tape measurer, pliers, and safety goggles), she walks into the new classroom and immediately feels overwhelmed. So many kids! Even with her tools, she’s not sure she’ll be able to handle things.

I’m going to start with the illustrations because they add a special touch to this read. The characters are well concepted and come across with personality, friendliness, and are inviting. The mix of animals and humans adds an interesting and creative twist and slides in with natural flow. Each scene carries lovely details and will come across familiar to many readers. It’s enjoyable to simply flip through each page and enjoy the story that way.

The text fits well to the middle of the intended age group with more text than some picture books but remaining at the intended level. It works very nicely for a read-aloud or story time and carries a complete tale with a rounded ending. The concept of the egg drop experiment heads more toward the older end of the intended reading group and might need some clarification for younger listeners. It’s an easy-to-follow story with sympathetic characters to enjoy.

The tale is message driven and does steer the plot, making this a book especially useful when exploring themes such as forming new friendships or dealing with anxiety. Each of Ruby’s tools carries an emotional purpose, and this is clearly explained. One of the other characters, also uses an object to help deal with tenser situations. There are a couple other message added as well, but these hit on a smaller scale.

It’s a cute read with lovely illustration, which brings across several messages in an enjoyable and adorable way. 

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