WITH MY HANDS by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

WITH MY HANDS

Poems About Making Things
Age Range: 4 - 10
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

This trove of construction projects, relayed through a series of poems, rouses readers to roll up their sleeves and make something with their own hands—a painting, a birdhouse, a knot, a piñata, a soap-bar sculpture, a batch of cookies, a painting, or even a shadow-puppet show.

Lithe, immersive verse, voiced in the first person, inspires children to find solace, joy, and power in their handiwork. “I learn to draw by staying still. / I follow every line. / I love to draw because I know— / what I draw is mine.” This orderly, balanced, primly conscientious closing stanza conveys both the focus a finely executed drawing requires and the private pride that arrives upon its completion. Varied pacing, style, and format allow these nimble poems to perfectly reflect the activity they describe. The taut verse binding “This knot / is not easy to tie. / It is not” captures the child’s jaw-clenched frustration and concentration; its deft economy brilliantly embodies a tightly knotted rope. Teachers and caregivers will find ample opportunities to delve both into these fine poems’ mechanics and the fantastic construction ideas they encourage and describe. Fancher and Johnson’s mixed-media–collage illustrations support the verse, showing children of varying skin tones engaged in their projects; at times they allow their activities to swell surreally across the page, suggesting their transportive powers.

Poetry sparks an irresistible, primal urge to twist, cut, paint, draw, glue, carve, whittle, daub, tie, hammer, to simply make. (Picture book/poetry. 4-10)

Pub Date: March 27th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-544-31340-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: HMH Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2017




MORE BY AMY LUDWIG VANDERWATER

ChildrenDREAMING OF YOU by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
ChildrenREAD, READ, READ! by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
ChildrenEVERY DAY BIRDS by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

MORE BY LOU FANCHER

ChildrenGOOD MORNING, SNOWPLOW! by Deborah Bruss
by Deborah Bruss
ChildrenSOFIA'S STOOP STORY by Maria LaPlaca Bohrer
by Maria LaPlaca Bohrer
ChildrenWHEN MERMAIDS SLEEP by Ann Bonwill
by Ann Bonwill

MORE BY STEVE JOHNSON

ChildrenGOOD MORNING, SNOWPLOW! by Deborah Bruss
by Deborah Bruss
ChildrenSOFIA'S STOOP STORY by Maria LaPlaca Bohrer
by Maria LaPlaca Bohrer
ChildrenWHEN MERMAIDS SLEEP by Ann Bonwill
by Ann Bonwill

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenUNPLUGGED by Steve Antony
by Steve Antony
ChildrenWAITING FOR HIGH TIDE by Nikki McClure
by Nikki McClure
ChildrenA WALK IN THE FOREST by Maria Dek
by Maria Dek