Beautiful Hands, written by Bret Baumgarten and illustrated by Kathryn Otoshi is based on the author’s experience of holding his children’s hands and asking them, ‘“What will your beautiful hands do today?”’
A deeply personal book for both the author and illustrator, this stunning page-turner is filled with illustrations created entirely from the handprints of the author’s and illustrator’s family members. The handprints of over one hundred family members and friends make up the rainbow that arches across the closing spread of the book.
In lyrical language, this book explores the many ways someone can use their hands. Readers become engaged in a lilting conversation:
What will your beautiful hands do today?
Will they plant…
What will they plant?
And, as the reader begins to answer the question – trees? Flowers? Seeds? – the page-turn reveals a lovely surprise:
The colorful and imaginative artwork that fills the pages add to the magic and of this book. The illustrations are mesmerizing. Each creatively crafted image is its own world of wonder. Readers will find themselves examining the letters and pictures wondering, How is this possible? How did she do it?
Through words and art, Beautiful Hands stretches possibility. A reader realizes, Oh! my hands can do physical things, but they can do much more than that! I can make handprints with paint, and handprints can become butterflies, dragons, birds and lights!
This deceptively simple book will appeal to young readers and adults alike. It can grow with its kids. Children will love the colors, pictures and questions. These same colors, pictures and questions take on deeper, more thoughtful meaning as one matures. It is a book that can be used as a source of inspiration in classrooms ranging from Kindergarten to college, from English to Art. Like its sweet message, its possibilities are endless.
With artful simplicity, Beautiful Hands challenges readers to do and be more. Our hands can do physical things, but they can also stretch imagination, reach for love and help others. It is a gem for any bookshelf or library. Don’t be surprised if your copy is quickly covered with flurries of little handprints of its own!
Author Brett Baumgarten and illustrator Kathryn Otoshi of Beautiful Hands.
Here are some more wonderful books illustrated (and written!) by Kathryn Otoshi:
Mondays with Mandy or Mira consists of Mandy Yates and Mira Reisberg. Mira is the founder of the Children's Book Academy and was so impressed with Mandy when she was a student in one of the interactive courses, that she invited Mandy to share the blog. Mandy has as an MFA in creative writing from Spalding University and has been published multiple times in Highlights Magazine. We hope you enjoy and find our offerings helpful.
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