Loving Hands

Loving Hands

Book - 2018
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"Hands wave hello, hands hold, hands heal. Hands say, I am here for you always. In simple, stirring rhymes, author Tony Johnston pens a timeless ode to parenthood. The small moments and quiet scenes that make up childhood-- learning to clap, planting a garden, waving good-bye on the first day of school-- fill the pages of this gentle tale, capturing the reassurance and love that parents hand their children every day. Warm illustrations by Amy June Bates show a young boy reaching for his mother's hand as he grows older and more independent . . . until, perhaps, he can be the one to offer love and support with hands that say, I am here for you always. An eloquent look at the passage of time and the power of connection and care, this book is a heartfelt gift for loved ones at any and all milestones in life"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, ©2018.
ISBN: 9780763679934
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) :,colour illustrations ;,27 cm.
Additional Contributors: Bates, Amy June - Illustrator

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leslie_d_
Mar 21, 2019

Think: Love You Forever, but quieter, and sweeter. And without ladders.

The illustrations are ones to linger upon, and the text invites a slowing down. Often we take rhyme as a means to sing our way along, fluid and bouncing with a lightness and swiftness. Johnston employment of loose rhyme, non-uniform lines, and punctuation controls the rhythm and guides the reader into a slower more meditative experience. Take those pauses at full-stops wherever you find them. Savor and breathe—just as you should those moments spoken about in the story, and in the memories you are making and recalling in your every day.

Something I especially adore about Loving Hands is how a nurturing mother is raising a nurturing son. Walking through the pages: “her Lamb”; snuggling; in a garden with vegetables and flowers; planting; baking; feeding birds in winter. The mother sings songs and plays and tends wounds; tells her son that he is not only brave, but tells him “we’re brave as bears”; they gaze at the stars together (future, possibility, legacy); and she has newspaper tucked under arm and wears business attire as she waves him off to his own life outside the house (school). It may seem like a small matter, but I love that the mother’s wardrobe changes. And that few of their interactions play out in classically domestic spaces.

The first read will be an uncomplicated pleasure that will blink with tears. And you’ll return to it again and again to appreciate the craftsmanship of its creators.

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