Cover image for Hands can
Hands can
Hudson, Cheryl Willis.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Photographs and simple, rhyming text present different things that hands can do, such as hold things, mix things, and wave goodbye.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Hands can do all kinds of things! A rhyming text with eye-catching color photos offers just the encouragement young children need to explore their world -- hands on.

Hands can hold things.
Hands can mold things.
Hands can catch
and hands can throw.

Hands can do much more, of course - wave hello and goodbye, play peekaboo, touch things, clap, even tie a shoe. For the very young, hands are a never-ending source of discovery and a means of mastery in an ever-unfolding world. With singsong rhythm, simple design, and alluring color photos of toddlers, HANDS CAN invites the littlest readers to discover the many things hands can do.

Author Notes

Cheryl Willis Hudson is the author of a dozen books for children, including BRIGHT EYES, BROWN SKIN (coauthored with Bernette G. Ford) and COME BY HERE, LORD: EVERYDAY PRAYERS FOR CHILDREN. She says that HANDS CAN was inspired by her own children. "I was amazed by the versatility, dexterity, utility, and even gracefulness of such small fingers," she says. "I began to see hands as marvelous works of art, and I wanted to somehow capture that vision in a children's book."

John-Francis Bourke was born in Dublin, Ireland, and now works in New York City. His photographs have been published in GQ, TV GUIDE, ESPN THE MAGAZINE, NICK JR., PARENTING, and PARENTS. He says, "Photographing people provides me with a constant stream of new faces, new words, new conversation - it never gets old. Photographing children gives you all that, plus innocence and curiosity. Wonderful!" This is his first book for children.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS. Clear, colorful photos give this picture book its great child-appeal; toddlers and preschoolers use their hands in so many ways--waving, catching, throwing, clapping, playing peek-a-boo. Unlike the stiffly posed models too often seen in books illustrated with photographs, the children of this multicultural cast look completely engaged in their activities. Hudson's rhythmic, rhyming text bounces along in a satisfying way, tying the pictured activities to the theme of hands. The book's loose structure, open-ended topic, and eye-catching photos leave plenty of space for conversation between young children and those who read aloud to them, a real plus in books for the very young. --Carolyn Phelan Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In Hands Can by Cheryl Willis Hudson, photos by John-Francis Bourke, a simple rhyming text and crisp photos of toddlers depict a number of activities to inspire youngsters to discover the world with their own hands. Beginning "Hands can wave to say `hello.'/ Hands can touch things high and low," a multiracial cast of characters fold and mold, mix and fix, all against solid-colored backgrounds. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Rich, full-color photographs illustrate the variety of fine and gross motor activities in which hands become engaged. "Hands can catch/and hands can throw./Hands can plant seeds in a row." Vibrant solid colors, which change at random, frame each photograph. All of the ethnically diverse children pictured are engaged in and intent on their activity. Bourke captures the action without making the scenes seem staged. The rhyming text sets the scene, focusing on age-appropriate activities such as tying a shoe or playing "Peekaboo." The book opens with a wave "hello" and ends perfectly with a friendly "Bye-bye." This inviting offering provides youngsters with an almost sensory experience in which they can appreciate how their hands help them to explore and interact with their world.-Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.