Saturday, February 15, 2014
Recommended Picture Book: These Hands by Margaret H. Mason
Author: Margaret H. Mason
Illustrator: Floyd Cooper
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, March 7, 2011
Topics: People and Cultures: African-Americans, African-American History: Civil Rights, Families: Grandfathers & Grandsons
Opening: Look at these hands, Joseph. Did you know these hands used to tie a triple bowline knot in three seconds flat? Well, I can still help a young fellow learn to tie his shoes - yes, I can.
Summary: An African-American man tells his grandson about a time when, despite all the wonderful things his hands could do, they could not touch bread at the Wonder factory. Based on stories of bakery union workers.
Find a lesson plan to go with the book here.
Have child(ren) cut out an outline of their hand. Let them discuss what they can do with their hands. What can they not do with their hands. Let them trace the hands of different people (of different ages) in their family and discuss what they can and cannot do with their hands.
Why I like the book:
This is story is more than a historical reference of a time when blacks could not prepare the bread for the Wonder factory. It is also a story of appreciation and one generation passing on a legacy to the next. Joseph's grandfather does that by passing on his knowledge, his talents and his family history. I love his gentle nature in teaching his grandson and how Joseph is proud to show what he has learned from his grandfather.