Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 13, 2021

Book Giveaway: WHEN GRANDPOP GIVES YOU A TOOLBOX by Jamie Deenihan

Jamie Deenihan has written a new picture book, WHEN GRANDPOP GIVES YOU A TOOLBOX illustrated by Lorraine Rocha and published by Sterling Childrens Books. It is the sequel to WHEN GRANDMA GIVES YOU A LEMON TREE, which was featured with a book giveaway last year. Sterling has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner living in the United States.

All you have to do is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Jamie  and Lorraine.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


In this delightful story, by the same author who wrote When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree, a boy is disappointed with his grandfather’s gift—until he learns he can use it to build exactly what he wanted with his own two hands, and a little help from grandpa, of course!

You asked for a special house for your dolls; but instead Grandpa gives you a toolbox! What do you do? Launching it into outer space is a bad idea. So is feeding it to a T. rex! Instead, be patient, pay attention, and you might find that you’re pretty handy. And just maybe, with grandpa’s help, you’ll get that dollhouse after all. This clever story celebrates kindness, hard work, and community, as well as variety in gender expression: the male main character proudly engages in activities that might be considered typically girl (playing with dolls) and typically boy (building with tools).


This story was inspired by the first book in the series, When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree, hoping to continue the journey with a companion to that book. My editor that I was working with at the time was so excited about a sequel and played a pivotal role in making it happen. It was also inspired by my own interests of wanting to someday be more handy, so I was able to live vicariously through the main character. As we launched Lemon Tree, we thought about how we could include a detail to foreshadow a second book in the series. Lorraine Rocha decided to include the detail of Grandpa’s truck on the back end pages, hidden by the back flap. That small detail subtly introduces readers to the next book and also to an extension of the neighborhood in Lemon Tree which is so fun to see.

When Grandpa Gives You a Toolbox began with the Grandpa character being included for safety reasons; Grandpa’s supervision over a child using tools, but developed into a storyline with much deeper meaning. The story highlights the stigma of boys playing with dolls and also the transformation of a child who keeps his interests tucked away in the safety of his own home to celebrating his interests with his community.

It was important to me that the supporting adult character in the story show the young boy that he could not only pursue his interests, which in this case was getting a dollhouse and playing with dolls, but he could be a leader and build it himself. This intergenerational story focuses a bit more on the relationship between the protagonist and the grandfather, which begins with a gift, and then slowly evolves throughout the book as their bond becomes strengthened over a common interest. Instead of Grandpa simply handing over a fancy gift, he actively gets involved in the process of building something homemade with his grandson that helps him achieve a goal and also discover a new interest and a new community of friends along the way. In those ways, I am reminded of the close relationships I had with my grandparents growing up and of all the homemade, sometimes unexpected or disappointing gifts they gave me that I may not have appreciated at the time, but looking back were the most memorable.

One of the best things about launching this book pre-Covid, was handing out cardboard cut outs and painter’s tape to the kids who attended the launch event and watching as they created the most amazing things. Birdhouses, toolboxes, dollhouses, ramps to race cars, etc. With only a few simple building materials, their imaginations went wild – for hours! I’ve found that this book is perfect for maker-spaces at any age level and FUN FACT: the full page spread birdhouse blueprints included in the book are actual blueprints that Lorraine’s dad created! So, if you wanted to make your own birdhouse, you could use those measurements to do so.

This book wouldn’t have been created without the unconditional love and encouragement that my husband, Ricky, and my two boys gave me throughout the process of writing this story. Unfortunately, my husband passed away in January 2020 from brain cancer, but will forever be honored in the dedication and author’s note of this book which makes it extra special to me. May is Brain Cancer Awareness Month and my heart goes out to every patient and family managing a brain cancer diagnosis or loss of a loved one during this month and beyond.

I hope readers of all ages will love this intergenerational story and I hope it helps to build kids’ love of reading, writing, and pursuing new interests!


Jamie L. B. Deenihan is a former elementary school teacher and certified reading specialist turned picture book author. When Grandpa Gives You a Toolbox, illustrated by Lorraine Rocha, is her second picture book with Sterling Publishing, which follows the first book in the series, When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree.

My second picture book with Sterling Publishing, WHEN GRANDPA GIVES YOU A TOOLBOX, illustrated by Lorraine Rocha, is about a boy who asks for a fancy, store-bought dollhouse for his birthday, but instead, receives a toolbox from his Grandpa. It’s a story that celebrates the virtues of hard work, sharing kindness, and bringing community together.


Lorraine Rocha started out studying architecture but quickly realized she wanted to draw more than just floor plans and returned to school to study illustration and animation at San Jose State University. After graduation, she worked at Industrial Light + Magic in the art department, contributing to such films as National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Miracle at St. Anna, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Ironman.

Following her time at ILM, Lorraine worked as a concept artist on the game Bioshock 2 and taught classes at The Art Institute of Las Vegas.

Upon her return to the San Francisco bay area, Lorraine focused on picture book illustration, and creating funny, whimsical images. Lorraine’s debut picture book, Zebra On The Go, will be published in 2017.

Lorraine lives with her two favorite people, her husband and daughter. All three enjoy singing and dancing, and Lorraine’s cooking.

Jamie, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. I am so happy that you are continuing this series. I loved When Grandma Gives You A Lemon Tree. I’ve told so many grandparents how much fun it would be to give a lemon tree and the book to their granddaughter and this would be so much fun to give to a grandson with a toolbox. Such a creative way to seal the bound with a grandchild and provide a lifelong memory. On top of all that both books are fund to read and lorraine has done a wonderful job telling your story with her illustrations. Good luck with the book and keep them coming! Can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve for the next one.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. What a wonderful, inspiring book. Thanks for sharing both books with us, Kathy! I am a newsletter subscriber 🙂


  2. This looks adorable! I give my grands things like wheelbarrows, sand boxes,…Congrats Jamie and Lorraine!

    I will tweet this and I follow by email. 🙂


  3. This looks wonderful! I love reading your posts about all the new wonderful books. This looks like winner! I will be sharing. Thanks!


  4. What a great book that teaches kids that even disappointments can turn out to be blessings! Thanks for sharing your journey and congrats on another wonderful book!


  5. This looks wonderful! My granddaughter likes to build things with my husband. I’m sure she will love this book! Thank you for sharing it, Kathy. I’m glad I subscribe to your blog and learn about so many great books!


  6. I am thrilled to have learned about this book. Such an important story on so many levels…can’t wait to read it!


  7. I love everything about this book! And I love how Grandma’s lemon tree book gives the reader a hint that this one is coming.


  8. Huge congrats, Jamie! I loved reading the lemon tree book, so I’m excited to get my hands on the sequel. (I’m signed up for Kathy’s emails, too.)


  9. I loved the first book and know I’ll love this one, too! It looks absolutley adorable. Congrats to you, Jamie, and to Lorraine!!


  10. The author definitely thought outside the tool box for this exciting book. I am adding it to my reading list. I’m an email subscriber and shared on social:


  11. I love this book! Thanks to my dad, I learned how to use tools from an early age. He has passed on tools to my children (his grands) so I love the sentiment of this story. I tweeted to spread the word!


  12. I love, love, love your books, Jamie. And of course, Lorraine’s illustrations are fabulous!


  13. I love the idea of this story, Jamie! What a wonderful message. Can’t wait to read it!


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