cover image Hands Say Love

Hands Say Love

George Shannon, illus. by Taeeun Yoo. Little, Brown, $17 (32p) ISBN 978-0-316-08479-6

Shannon's sturdy verse pairs with Yoo's warm, reassuring mixed-media images of family life to create a soothing readaloud. "Hands that do all they can do/ are also saying ‘I love you,' " writes Shannon (A Very Witchy Spelling Bee), a stanza that repeats as he follows a family that lives by the beach and is preparing to celebrate a birthday—which gives Yoo (Here Is the Baby) a chance to draw hands doing all kinds of things. After the birthday cake is made, two daughters help frost it, and then it's time to eat. As the father sits at the table holding the family's baby, the older daughter holds out whipped cream for him to taste, and while the parents string up lights on the porch, the older daughter wraps a stuffed rabbit for her younger sister: "Make a gift./ Help you lift./ Fold a hat./ Pet the cat." Strong rhythms, simple words, and clear pictures make this the kind of picture book that might end up being memorized. Up to age 3. Author's agent: Mary Cummings, Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises. Illustrator's agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Dec.)