Saturday, May 1, 2004

I Call My Hand Gentle

Haan, Amanda. 2003. I CALL MY HAND GENTLE. Illustrated by Marina Sagona. New York: Viking Press. ISBN 0670036218 [Suggested Grade Levels: Pre K-K].

Hands can hug or hit. Hands can break or tickle. Hands can write or steal. Hands can be used in productive or destructive actions, depending on what a person chooses. Hands have many abilities, but according to the text of the book, hands do “what I want” them to do. Using your hands correctly is a choice that must be made daily and in a variety of situations by the individual, and when that choice is made, to use your hands the right way, you can call your hand gentle.

This book approaches the idea of cooperation and kindness by looking at the good and bad things that can be done with one’s hands. Through bright colors and large-scale items these good and bad choices are seen clearly by the reader. Large text is integrated into each illustration, weaving the story into the pictures, and making clear the choices and consequences of using hands productively or destructively. Such clarity makes it easy for the young reader to understand the relationship between the text and the illustrations of this book.


Play “Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down” by calling out good and bad actions and having children respond with a “thumbs up” if good, or a “thumbs down” if bad.
Discuss ways to be kind and cooperative.
Create a mural of good choices that can be made with hands. Create a border by tracing hands.


Other books about hands:
Agassi, Martine. HANDS ARE NOT FOR HITTING. Illustrated by Marieka Henlen. ISBN 1575420775.
Archambault, Joahn and Bill Martin, Jr. HERE ARE MY HANDS. Illustrated by Ted Rand. ISBN 0805059113.
Hudson, Cheryl Willis. HANDS CAN. ISBN 0763616672.

Other books about kindness/cooperation:
Gainer, Cindy. I’M LIKE YOU, YOU’RE LIKE ME. ISBN 1575420392.
Payne, Lauren Murphy. WE CAN GET ALONG. Illustrated by Claudia Rohling. ISBN 1575420139.

Other books about feelings:
Cain, Janan. THE WAY I FEEL. ISBN 1884734715.
Spelman, Cornelia Maude. WHEN I FEEL ANGRY. Illustrated by Nancy Cote. ISBN 0807588881.

By Kirsten Murphy

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