My Father's Hands

My Father's Hands

by Joanne Ryder, Mark Graham
     
 

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A father makes a green and growing place and finds among the shadows of bushes and flowers hidden treasures. Cupping them in his earth-stained hands, he calls his daughter to come and share his discovery.

Each time, she finds a garden creature to marvel over and remember: a delicate pink circle of worm, a beetle in shining gold armor, or a leaf-green mantis

Overview

A father makes a green and growing place and finds among the shadows of bushes and flowers hidden treasures. Cupping them in his earth-stained hands, he calls his daughter to come and share his discovery.

Each time, she finds a garden creature to marvel over and remember: a delicate pink circle of worm, a beetle in shining gold armor, or a leaf-green mantis who boldly balances upon her own steady and caring fingers.

With graceful, loving words and vibrant art, Joanne Ryder and Mark Graham portray a special father who shares what he values most—all the beauty and wonder of the natural world.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this loving tribute, a girl watches her father as he tends a garden--as well as its wiggling, sliding, bumbling and graceful creatures. He opens his cupped, earth-encrusted hands to reveal a ``pink circle of worm,'' a beetle ``shining in gold armor'' and a praying mantis ``so light, so bold, so strange.'' The father wordlessly conveys his enthusiasm to his daughter, who narrates: ``I bend closer, knowing that nothing within my father's hands will harm me.'' The crisp clarity of Ryder's ( One Small Fish ) prose balances her warm effusion (as the mantis is returned to his bush, father and daughter ``watch him / till he melts / green in the greenness''). Graham's ( Where's the Baby? ) oil paintings, scumbled beneath a dewy veil of early summer light, perfectly match the intimacy of Ryder's text. Ages 4-up. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
A father passes on to his daughter his love of nature in My Father's Hands. As father works the soil, he finds tiny creatures which he places in his daughter's hands so that she will appreciate their worth. Poetic prose please the ear, "Gently my father/ tips his hand/ softly urging/ the small one/ to my open palms./ Green prickly feet/ find their footing/ on my steady fingers." Full-page illustrations in soft muted tones enhance the beauty of the text.
School Library Journal
PreS-K-A little girl and her father share the wonders of nature as they examine several small creatures in the garden-a pink worm, a golden beetle, a sliding snail, and a praying mantis. Graham's lovely double-page, impressionistic oil paintings clearly focus on the man and his daughter, with closeups of faces and hands in nearly every illustration. The garden in the background, lush with flowers and vegetable plants, provides a picturesque setting for this simple, straightforward description of a special parent/child outing. A nice book for one-on-one sharing.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Hazel Rochman
Like his illustrations for Rosemary Wells' "Lucy Comes to Stay" , Graham's soft-textured oil paintings create a sense of family intimacy, delicate and rich with color. This time the setting is outdoors, a Monet-like scene in which a serious blond child watches her father "shape a patch / of earth / into our garden." Dirt fills the cracks of his strong hands and edges each nail black. She's enraptured when he shows her the fragile creatures he finds in the shadows beneath the flowers: a snail, a beetle, and the wonder of a leaf-green mantis that he gently passes from his hands to hers. There's no story, just a memory of a perfect time. The child is adoring, the father tender, the place as idyllic as Eden.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688091897
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/28/1994
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,076,559
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.25(d)
Lexile:
AD730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Joanne Ryder has always loved pandas, starting with the very first small panda toy she had as a child. She has continued to be fascinatd by these rare and wonderful animals throughout her career as a writer. She is the award-winning author of numerous picture books, including A Pair of Polar Bears: Twin Cubs Find a Home at the San Diego Zoo; Little Panda: The World Welcomes Hua Mei at the San Diego Zoo; My Mother's Voice; My Father's Hands; Big Bear Ball; and Wild Birds. She lives in Pacific Grove, California, with her husband, Laurence Yep, who is also an author.

Mark Graham is the illustrator of several children's books, including Come Meet Muffin! and Where is Little Reynard? by Joyce Carol Oates. A graduate of Columbia University, Graham studied for several years at the Art Students League of New York and has taught at the university level. He lives with his family in Port Washington, New York.

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