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Friday, July 20, 2012

Hand Book, written and illustrated by Jeff Newman. Simon & Schuster, 2011. $18.99 ages 2 and up

"One hand.

Two hands.

Two hands clap."

While I'm on a roll with books for early readers, I want you to know about another book from Jeff Newman. I have posted about Hippo! No, Rhino, and The Boys. I've not seen Reginald. What I have seen, I love. This is no exception.

Jeff Newman uses his formidable talent to create a set of hands that have much to share. They tell the story of life and finally, of love. Beginning with the chubby baby hands that discover one another in order to make a clapping sound, they move through the life of a child. From that early clapping to realizing they can make music, to using them for eating and balance. Then, when old enough, they hold their owner on a swing and allow him to swing free.

As we watch, the child grows, goes to school, graduates, seeks work that he loves, meets someone special and starts the cycle all over again. Just lovely!!!

The line drawings done in ink, permanent marker and gouache leave the reader feeling satisfied and in awe of what can be accomplished with short phrases, rhyme and white space. We are always focused on the hands, their development, their colors, their abilities.  A very 'hand'some book!

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