By Maurice Pommier
This 48-page book has been translated by Brian Anderson, an American-born writer and woodworker who lives and works in France. It is ostensibly a book for children, though the stories, lessons and drawing style will appeal to anyone who has an appreciation for the natural and the fantastical.
Pommier paints an unbroken line of craftsmen from a French family, and he traces the history of their lives and their work through their tools and the stories of them being handed from one worker to the other against the backdrop of colonisation, the gold rush, World War I and the time when Dragomir the dragon wreaked havoc in the Black Forest.
The tale is told through the eyes of Sylvain, the youngest of the woodworkers in the family, as he spends his vacation in the shop of his grandfather, whom he calls Pe´pe`re. Sylvain wants to learn all about the hand tools in Pe´pe`res shop and the elves who hide amongst the shavings, benches and tool chests there.
As each tools story is told, Sylvain learns a little more about his family and its connection to woodworkers all over the world, and this eventually leads to him being haunted by a sad family secret that is told to him by the woodshops elves (in a dream).
Grandpas Workshop is a magnificent tale filled with hundreds of beautiful illustrations that you and your children will find intoxicating. It is a story that is untouched by the modern tendency to sugar coat stories for our children, and it is a little bit scary in parts there is a vicious dragon, a tragic workplace accident, a war and even a family murder.
In the end, of course, Grandpas Workshop is a tale that will fascinate and perhaps spark something in the reader perhaps a love for wood, the mysteries of the forest or even working with ones hands. It is the perfect gift for a child who might just have woodworking in his or her blood.
The English translation of this 2007 book has been approved by Pommier, the author.
Lost Art Press have diligently contructed the English version of this book so it matches the experience of reading it in the original French. They have even printed the book in an oversized European size with a special thick paper stock to closely match the originals print run.
Like all Lost Art Press books, Grandpas Workshop is printed in the United States. Its signatures are Smythe sewn and casebound for durability.
This book is part of a special run of 3,000 copies that is authorized by the French publisher. We are not sure if the French publisher will authorize a second printing so act now to avoid disappointment.Read an excerpt from Grandpa's Workshop here