Loni Edwards

Illustration and Paintings in Digital, Watercolors and Ink

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Hands

My selection for this week’s Perfect Picture Book Friday is Hands by Caldecott-honor winning artist Lois Ehlert






Title:  Hands

Author/Illustrator:  Lois Ehlert

Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books (September 1, 2004)

Ages: 4 and up (although with it’s simple text and vivid pictures I think any age would enjoy)

Theme:  Creativity, Help Others/Kindness, Family, Non-Fiction


My father always works with his hands.

He builds things in his workshop.

He measures with his ruler;

marking the wood with a pencil.

Then he measures again,

just to be sure.

From the publisher:  “Do you like to make things with your hands? As the child in this story watches her mother and father work with their hands, she knows she wants to build and sew and garden and paint just like they do. All she needs is a special place to work, lots of good materials- and plenty of encouragement. With these tools, she is able to make the most wonderful things. From Caldecott Honor-winning artist Lois Ehlert.”


Artist helping children.org has a great list of bird feeders to make

Love to sew.com has a great page on quilting with children

Kids sewing projects.com has some neat ideas for sewing
Kids gardening.org has great ideas for children to learn to garden

Craft Stylish has a pattern and instructions for a felt mouse cat toy

Pattern mouse toy on Martha Stewart

Amazon.com has a Faber-Castell Young Artist Kit

Why I like this book:

I love the way this book is laid out. The pages are uniquely cut to make it fun page after page. The easy reading is great for teaching children to read. And it is a book that young readers can read out loud or on their own. It is a unique way to convey a simple concept.  I love it!

Perfect Picture Book Fridays are a weekly blog event where participants review some of their favorite picture books. The posts are compiled on author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website. They are categorized by theme to help parents, educators and readers find the perfect picture book easily. To learn more, please visit Susanna’s site where you will find the complete PPBF’s library.

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  1. Erik -This Kid Reviews Books 24/02/2012

    I’ve never heard of this book! I like the whole idea of it. I like to watch people create things. I am going to see if the library has this.

    • Loni 24/02/2012 — Post Author

      Oh you will enjoy this book. It’s super cute!

  2. Christie Wright Wild 24/02/2012

    Sounds fun! Can be used in so many ways. Wish my library had it. It does have 21 of her other books though.

    • Loni Edwards 24/02/2012

      Her books are great! Including the classic she illustrated Chicka Chicka Boom Boom 😀

  3. Julie Hedlund 24/02/2012

    Allyn Johnston, Lois Ehlert’s editor, gave a presentation about the writing of this book and how Ehlert honored both her father and her mother as influencers in her creative life. Great choice!

    • Loni 24/02/2012 — Post Author

      Oh wow! I would have loved to have seen/heard that. How great! Thanks for the comment Julie!

  4. Kirsten Larson 24/02/2012

    We’ve read several Lois Ehlert books, but I’ve not seen this one. I’ll add it to our list.

  5. Susanna Leonard Hill 24/02/2012

    I haven’t read this book, but it sounds fantastic! I love any book that gives children the message to DO. Do things themselves, be creative, not just passive consumers of other people’s creativity. Especially now, with computer games etc., encouraging kids to get out and do real things with their hands and bodies is so important! Thanks for sharing this one, Loni. Definitely a worthy addition to our list!

    • Loni 24/02/2012 — Post Author

      I so agree! Thanks for the comment Susanna!

  6. Patricia Tilton 24/02/2012

    Loni, this book is new to me, but I love your review. It sounds very unique. What a great book to get kids to do things with their hands. I loved arts and crafts, sewing, needlepoint, and making pinatas when I was young. Kids need to create. Such a great choice Loni.

  7. Joanna Marple 24/02/2012

    I love that you often bring us really creative books, Loni, I might have skipped over this and thus have missed a treasure. It is so important to extol the beauty and value of work we don with our hands, from a young age. Thanks for introducing me to this book.

    • Loni 24/02/2012 — Post Author

      Joanna, I’m glad that I gave a review on something you might not have picked initially. That is why I love this list! 😀

  8. Amy Dixon 24/02/2012

    This sounds great! I love books that encourage creativity. Crafty sorts of things are not my strong point, so this could be great to help supplement in that area with my own kids.

  9. Heather 24/02/2012

    Lois Ehlert does such beautiful work. We have a few of hers, but not this one. It sounds lovely. Great resources, as well!

    • Loni 24/02/2012 — Post Author

      Yes, I agree, her books are great! Thanks Heather!

  10. Stacy S. Jensen 24/02/2012

    Sound like a great book and plenty of activities for all ages. Thanks for sharing this title.

    • Loni 24/02/2012 — Post Author

      You’re welcome Stacy. Thank you for the comment!

  11. Jennifer Rumberger 24/02/2012

    This sounds like a fun book that also teaches. Thanks for sharing and good luck with the site maintenance!

    • Loni Edwards 24/02/2012

      Thanks Jennifer, I will need it! I was going bonkers this a.m. when my blog fell apart. I was missing stuff and had it all crazy looking. ACK. I will be glad to spend a little time on it and get it back up to speed.

  12. Beth Stilborn 24/02/2012

    As Susanna says, it’s so good to see books that encourage kids to “do” — some of my favorite books when I was a kid were ones that showed me how to make things, using ordinary stuff like empty thread spools and whatnot. This book sounds right up my alley! Thanks, Loni!

  13. patientdreamer 24/02/2012

    I love books that show how one can use their hands to make creative ideas. This sounds like a super book, thanks for sharing Loni. Will check my library out for this one.

  14. Vivian Kirkfield 24/02/2012

    Hi Loni,
    Beautiful choice for PPBF! This reminds me a little of Bravo Maurice! where the little boy’s family encourages him to learn to do all the things they love…bread making, gardening…but are thrilled when his own unique talent of singing manifests itself.
    Your resource list is…unbelievable!!! Thank you so much…that took quite a lot of work to put together…I know we (and any parent or teacher who clicks on it and uses it) appreciate it.

    • Loni Edwards 24/02/2012

      Thanks Vivian! I love the activities part of PPBF’s. I think that is what makes it stand out from other picture book reviews. I appreciate your nice comment!

  15. Laura Renauld 25/02/2012

    I really enjoy Lois Ehlert’s books, but I’ve never heard of this one. Thanks for sharing! Glad to meet you in the PPBF world.

    • Loni 28/02/2012 — Post Author

      Hi Laura! Thanks for you comment. It’s great to meet another PPBF participant 🙂

  16. Penny Klostermann 26/02/2012

    Sounds wonderful. I can’t wait to see how the pages are cut.

  17. Darshana Khiani 26/02/2012

    Sounds like a wonderful book. Adding it to my list.

    • Loni 28/02/2012 — Post Author

      Great! Thanks for stopping by Darshana.

  18. Robyn Campbell 28/02/2012

    This sounds absolutely wonderful! I am definitely adding it to my list of, I gotta have ’em books. Those activities are excellent too. Sorry I am late getting by here. I was finishing a short story I am subbing to an anthology. It’s about my son Christopher. *waving*

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