cover image With My Hands: Poems About Making Things

With My Hands: Poems About Making Things

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, illus. by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson. Clarion, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-544-31340-8

In a cheery reminder of the pride of creating something and the many forms art can take, VanDerwater uses 26 poems to celebrate drawing, building, and designing, no matter one’s preferred medium. Fancher and Johnson use pencil, paint, and snippets of photos and text in their exuberant illustrations. A boy rides a horse with a thumb-print body across a field of photographed clover in the opening poem, “Maker,” and corrugated cardboard lends texture to a boy’s hideaway in “Fort” (“Make one out of fuzzy blankets./ Make one out of fallen sticks. Make one out of packing snow./ Make one out of mud and bricks”). Every poem is an invitation to get creative—the book is an obvious springboard into collaging, painting, baking, piñata making, and other activities at home or at school. Ages 4–7. Author’s agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. (Mar.)