By Margaret H Mason, Illustrated by Floyd Cooper
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2011
I don’t know which I like best, the story, the message or the art, but together These Hands is a moving book that can inspire youngsters to do anything they want. I think it was the art that invited me to get the book.
The story is about a grandfather sharing the story of what his hands do and have done in the course of his lifetime. He moves from teaching the young one to tie his shoes, to playing the ivories, to shuffling cards. The author Margaret H. Mason touches back to the day of civil rights to remind readers of the discrimination experienced at the time, when grandfather’s hands couldn’t do things. Like bake bread (at higher wages). The story moves on to tell how grandfather used his hands to join with other hands to change things, so that the color of a person’s hands that touches bread, no longer matters.
Floyd Cooper, an award-winning artist, uses an oil wash with kneaded erasers to create brown-tone scenes to tell his side of the story. Very inviting, nurturing, comforting.
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