The Handiest Things in the World
written by Andrew Clements; photographs by Raquel Jaramillo
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers) 2010
Source: Orange County Public Library
Have you ever thought about how handy our hands are? Andrew Clements did and used his hands to create this engaging concept book. Each set of pages contains rhyming lines that show what our hands can do and what they can do better with the help of something made by our hands. For example, on one set of pages, a young man is shading his eyes with his hand while another young man is wearing a ball cap. On the left side the rhyming text says "Handmade shade for squinty eyes." On the right side it says "This will help with sunny skies." Pretty handy book if you ask me. Raquel Jaramillo's photographs provide terrific background and context for the words.
Clements plays with the shape and style of the text, so this would be a good book to use to teach young children about author's purpose. You could also use a circle map before reading and ask students to think about what we do with our hands. After reading, you could collect more suggestions.