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In Your Hands

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A black mother expresses the many hopes and dreams she has for her child in this powerful picture book masterpiece that’s perfect for gift-giving. When you are a newborn, I hold your hand and study your face. I cradle you as you drift to sleep. But I know that I will not always hold your hand; not the older you get. Then, I will hold you in my heart And hope that God holds A black mother expresses the many hopes and dreams she has for her child in this powerful picture book masterpiece that’s perfect for gift-giving. When you are a newborn, I hold your hand and study your face. I cradle you as you drift to sleep. But I know that I will not always hold your hand; not the older you get. Then, I will hold you in my heart And hope that God holds you in his hands.


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A black mother expresses the many hopes and dreams she has for her child in this powerful picture book masterpiece that’s perfect for gift-giving. When you are a newborn, I hold your hand and study your face. I cradle you as you drift to sleep. But I know that I will not always hold your hand; not the older you get. Then, I will hold you in my heart And hope that God holds A black mother expresses the many hopes and dreams she has for her child in this powerful picture book masterpiece that’s perfect for gift-giving. When you are a newborn, I hold your hand and study your face. I cradle you as you drift to sleep. But I know that I will not always hold your hand; not the older you get. Then, I will hold you in my heart And hope that God holds you in his hands.

30 review for In Your Hands

  1. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    A picture books that speaks to the adults in the room instead of the kids. It is a mother's prayer to God and to the world that they protect and guide her black son as he navigates the dangers and difficulties of a world that will slowly begin to see him as a threat the older he gets. There is no implied message here. It is a gentle reminder to the All Lives Matter crowd that if you can't say Black Lives Matter, then you don't really mean that all lives matter. A picture books that speaks to the adults in the room instead of the kids. It is a mother's prayer to God and to the world that they protect and guide her black son as he navigates the dangers and difficulties of a world that will slowly begin to see him as a threat the older he gets. There is no implied message here. It is a gentle reminder to the All Lives Matter crowd that if you can't say Black Lives Matter, then you don't really mean that all lives matter.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Eloquent, spiritual and beautiful. I'm not convinced it's a kids book. More of a mantra for parents, especially those raising black sons for whom we hope "will be exalted for the suns that they are." Eloquent, spiritual and beautiful. I'm not convinced it's a kids book. More of a mantra for parents, especially those raising black sons for whom we hope "will be exalted for the suns that they are."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rummanah (Books in the Spotlight)

    Heartwarming prayer of an African American mother to her son. Review coming soon.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Becket

    Gorgeous and moving (like, literal shivers-down-the-spine), and most definitely for parents rather than kids. Though it's in second person and addressed to a beloved son, the perspective is deeply rooted in the prayers and cares of the parent. Purposefully lifting up the distinct concerns of parents of black boys, this book resonates both specifically and universally. Gorgeous and moving (like, literal shivers-down-the-spine), and most definitely for parents rather than kids. Though it's in second person and addressed to a beloved son, the perspective is deeply rooted in the prayers and cares of the parent. Purposefully lifting up the distinct concerns of parents of black boys, this book resonates both specifically and universally.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Regina

    Oh my goodness. This is a beautiful, hope-filled, ode to the mothers who collectively wondered "how can I raise a brown son in this world". It's a statement of love and hope, a prayer for protection and peace over our boys, and a statement on what we all wish for them. I checked this out from the library,...but I'll need to buy a copy. Oh my goodness. This is a beautiful, hope-filled, ode to the mothers who collectively wondered "how can I raise a brown son in this world". It's a statement of love and hope, a prayer for protection and peace over our boys, and a statement on what we all wish for them. I checked this out from the library,...but I'll need to buy a copy.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This poetic book is an excellent read that serves to remind all readers of the importance of the BLM movement and the struggles that children of color and their parents face every day.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Margie

    Many an educator stands in the hallways of schools around the world at the end of the day watching students pass, secretly sending blessings their way to keep them safe, healthy and happy. Once they leave our classrooms and libraries, we have no way to offer them further education until they return to us the following morning or after a vacation. If it should happen to be the final day of a school year, we hope with all our hearts we have provided them with the knowledge and skills to ensure the Many an educator stands in the hallways of schools around the world at the end of the day watching students pass, secretly sending blessings their way to keep them safe, healthy and happy. Once they leave our classrooms and libraries, we have no way to offer them further education until they return to us the following morning or after a vacation. If it should happen to be the final day of a school year, we hope with all our hearts we have provided them with the knowledge and skills to ensure they live the best life possible until we meet again. For parents this desire is surely stronger. In Your Hands (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, September 12, 2017) written by Carole Boston Weatherford with illustrations by Brian Pinkney is a deeply moving request. It is reverent. It is full of faith. My full recommendation: http://librariansquest.blogspot.com/2...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ms Threlkeld

    I couldn’t get past all the references to Christianity.

  9. 5 out of 5

    William Dains

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was an absolute gorgeous book that stirred emotions like a huge blender. but it had a couple fatal flaws. first off this book is definitely an adult book, the illustrations and short pages imply a book for children, and children will love it nonetheless, but the messages are way above what most children would understand. I was also greatly disappointed to find a "black lives matter" excerpt at the end. Not only should ALL lives matter, but it changed my view of this beautiful book from a go This was an absolute gorgeous book that stirred emotions like a huge blender. but it had a couple fatal flaws. first off this book is definitely an adult book, the illustrations and short pages imply a book for children, and children will love it nonetheless, but the messages are way above what most children would understand. I was also greatly disappointed to find a "black lives matter" excerpt at the end. Not only should ALL lives matter, but it changed my view of this beautiful book from a gorgeous depiction of a mothers love, to a political agenda disguised as a childrens book, in a matter of milliseconds.

  10. 5 out of 5

    DaNae

    A stunning book. It does feel like a book for adults who care about children than a book that many children will gravitate to.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Irina Su

    When police officers are quick to believe that a cell phone in the hands of a young African-American is a gun, this book helps readers understand the reason their mothers feel the urgency to pray for their protection. The mother's voice resonates with my experience as a mother, but I will never come close to experiencing her fear, that every day her son's life is a misunderstanding away from ending. I cannot imagine the anxiety and fear African-American moms, dads and family members feel when th When police officers are quick to believe that a cell phone in the hands of a young African-American is a gun, this book helps readers understand the reason their mothers feel the urgency to pray for their protection. The mother's voice resonates with my experience as a mother, but I will never come close to experiencing her fear, that every day her son's life is a misunderstanding away from ending. I cannot imagine the anxiety and fear African-American moms, dads and family members feel when their precious boys go out into the world. A world that sees them as dangerous, and is ready to react to the slightest gesture. This book reinforces the cry of Black lives matter. It recognizes that many white people do not understand why the word black has to be added to the phrase lives matter. This book helps the reader recognize that an African-American male is taking a greater risk leaving the house than a male who is not black. Her prayers are that all people see her son the way that she sees him, as a child of God, not a person to be feared.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brett

    Well, this one just slayed me. A mother's prayer, specifically, poignantly, heartbreakingly tailored to her African-American son & the unique challenges & situations so much more likely to face him in this country, in this world. Reflecting on the fact that so many mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, & family members/caregivers in these children's lives have to live with these fears & still gift that child to the outside world every single day should have everyone on board with & a pa Well, this one just slayed me. A mother's prayer, specifically, poignantly, heartbreakingly tailored to her African-American son & the unique challenges & situations so much more likely to face him in this country, in this world. Reflecting on the fact that so many mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, & family members/caregivers in these children's lives have to live with these fears & still gift that child to the outside world every single day should have everyone on board with & a part of the Black Lives Matter movement. Everyone. In addition to the deceptively simple beauty of the words, the artwork is equally simple, & equally beautiful. I love the limited color palette, the text's shifting size & layout, & the pastel shades of the plain pages. It's a stunner of a book - now let's do whatever it takes to make its particular sentiments irrelevant, so that mothers of color only have the "normal" run of fears regarding their children to face.

  13. 5 out of 5

    David Burgess

    IN YOUR HANDS by Carole Boston Weatherford, is written from the perspective of a loving and protective parent, who wants not just the best for the child in question, but also wants this child to be able to contribute to the world in the highest form possible. The loving parent appears to recognize that their must be a transition from custodian care and protection of the child, to preparing the child for the challenges of independent and adult living. But there is also an extended petition represen IN YOUR HANDS by Carole Boston Weatherford, is written from the perspective of a loving and protective parent, who wants not just the best for the child in question, but also wants this child to be able to contribute to the world in the highest form possible. The loving parent appears to recognize that their must be a transition from custodian care and protection of the child, to preparing the child for the challenges of independent and adult living. But there is also an extended petition represented in the story, where the message appears to be a prayer for a type of justice in our society that encourages everyone to do their best to discard stereotypical ways of evaluating one another in favor of viewing each person as a miraculous gift from God! This book was a personal and powerful, faith-based request for the full well-being and full development of dreams and potential of her child in the world in which we live!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cecilia

    I feel like this book didn't know what it wanted to be. Was it supposed to be a modern commentary on the Black Lives Matter movement? Was it a modern take on "Love You Forever" and that ilk? Was it a religious book focusing on the power of God? Was it an artsy-fartsy, interpretive art book where everything seems like it has a deeper meaning? It was hard to read because it felt too chaotic and too wordy. I wish the book had chosen one of the things it was trying to do (any of them could have been I feel like this book didn't know what it wanted to be. Was it supposed to be a modern commentary on the Black Lives Matter movement? Was it a modern take on "Love You Forever" and that ilk? Was it a religious book focusing on the power of God? Was it an artsy-fartsy, interpretive art book where everything seems like it has a deeper meaning? It was hard to read because it felt too chaotic and too wordy. I wish the book had chosen one of the things it was trying to do (any of them could have been an amazing picture book) or combined the things better. The illustrations, which usually help a story become more coherent, only seemed to muddle it even more. The color choices selected through the book and the word formatting was distracting and discordant. This book just fell short for me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jana

    This book is a beautiful prayer offered from a mother to her newborn baby. With gorgeous illustrations rendered in watercolor, gouache, and India ink on Strathmore watercolor paper, the prayer asks God to hold the child and protect him when she can't be with him. This book was written "in memory of the sons we've lost; in prayer for the sons we love" and "to the whole wide world;" and is a very important book to share with children. This book could be part of a very important conversation about This book is a beautiful prayer offered from a mother to her newborn baby. With gorgeous illustrations rendered in watercolor, gouache, and India ink on Strathmore watercolor paper, the prayer asks God to hold the child and protect him when she can't be with him. This book was written "in memory of the sons we've lost; in prayer for the sons we love" and "to the whole wide world;" and is a very important book to share with children. This book could be part of a very important conversation about what the world is like and what kind of world we want to have for children, and their children, and so on. It would be terrific to use it as a mentor text to help write a prayer or a poem to and for children, as they grow and become the next leaders.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joey Gremillion

    At first glance, a very sweet book with sweet illustrations. HOWEVER, as you read it, in the mother's prayer, there are veiled comments about how Omari would be unsafe in certain neighborhoods and for the world to see him as a child of God. Those are very noble because all parents want those things for their children. HOWEVER, this seems to be an unintentional (at least I hope so) message that Omari should be afraid of the world for who he is. Great opportunity for the author to capture a mother At first glance, a very sweet book with sweet illustrations. HOWEVER, as you read it, in the mother's prayer, there are veiled comments about how Omari would be unsafe in certain neighborhoods and for the world to see him as a child of God. Those are very noble because all parents want those things for their children. HOWEVER, this seems to be an unintentional (at least I hope so) message that Omari should be afraid of the world for who he is. Great opportunity for the author to capture a mother's prayer for her firstborn son has been f***ed up by veiled political innuendo. Can I please give this a negative star?

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amy Layton

    Normally I'm not the biggest fan of religious books in general, as I'm not super religious, but I have to say that this is a beautiful book.  (Okay, maybe this isn't religious?  But I get a really religious vibe.  Anyways.  Edit: Definitely religious.  Anyways.).  The use of circular imagery definitely alludes to the wholeness and completeness and feeling of safety one has when they feel connected with a higher power, and the hand imagery certainly serves to link the text to the illustrations.  Normally I'm not the biggest fan of religious books in general, as I'm not super religious, but I have to say that this is a beautiful book.  (Okay, maybe this isn't religious?  But I get a really religious vibe.  Anyways.  Edit: Definitely religious.  Anyways.).  The use of circular imagery definitely alludes to the wholeness and completeness and feeling of safety one has when they feel connected with a higher power, and the hand imagery certainly serves to link the text to the illustrations.  It's a wonderful book, especially for a young reader.  It's wholesome, and extremely genuine. Review cross-listed here!

  18. 5 out of 5

    LaVonne Hanlon

    Gr. K-3. What a team! Caldecott-winning author Carole Boston Weatherford explores a mother’s prayers and dreams for her young son in this beautiful picture book, featuring serenely buoyant ink and pastel washes by Coretta Scott King Illustration Award winner Brian Pinkney. Its ending: “Black lives matter. Your life matters” should resonate with parents everywhere. Ties to language arts curriculum. A School Library Journal Best Picture Book, Booklist Top 10 Religion & Spirituality Book for Youth, Gr. K-3. What a team! Caldecott-winning author Carole Boston Weatherford explores a mother’s prayers and dreams for her young son in this beautiful picture book, featuring serenely buoyant ink and pastel washes by Coretta Scott King Illustration Award winner Brian Pinkney. Its ending: “Black lives matter. Your life matters” should resonate with parents everywhere. Ties to language arts curriculum. A School Library Journal Best Picture Book, Booklist Top 10 Religion & Spirituality Book for Youth, and Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2017. Visit Weatherford’s website at https://cbweatherford.com/ and Pinkney’s at http://www.brianpinkney.net/ for more information about these literary giants.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Fultz

    Pinkney's graceful illustrations match the powerful message, spoken as a prayer from a mother worried about her son's life, that Black Lives Matter. "I pray that the world sees you as a child of God; and, as you cast a longer shadow, that you will be viewed as a vessel to be steered rather than a figure to be feared." Some school librarians or teachers might shy away from the religious or political element. Don't make that too common unprofessional mistake. Everybody needs to have this beautiful Pinkney's graceful illustrations match the powerful message, spoken as a prayer from a mother worried about her son's life, that Black Lives Matter. "I pray that the world sees you as a child of God; and, as you cast a longer shadow, that you will be viewed as a vessel to be steered rather than a figure to be feared." Some school librarians or teachers might shy away from the religious or political element. Don't make that too common unprofessional mistake. Everybody needs to have this beautiful book on hand to absorb and discuss.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Tournas

    Narrated by an African American parent to their newborn son, this beautiful picture book is almost a prayer. At the very least, it is a promise of love and hope. Simple heartfelt text assures a child that he will be loved and valued by his family and his community, with fervent hope that others outside will see his worth as he grows older. Lovely watercolor, gouache and ink illustrations in pastel colors make the book feel almost ethereal. Pinkney used his own son as a model for the child in the Narrated by an African American parent to their newborn son, this beautiful picture book is almost a prayer. At the very least, it is a promise of love and hope. Simple heartfelt text assures a child that he will be loved and valued by his family and his community, with fervent hope that others outside will see his worth as he grows older. Lovely watercolor, gouache and ink illustrations in pastel colors make the book feel almost ethereal. Pinkney used his own son as a model for the child in the book. Beautiful, but heartbreaking that the book is necessary.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    In Your Hands is a story from a parent to a child. Their dreams, prayers, and reassurances are highlighted alongside Pinkney's gorgeous illustrations. "I will pray that you can always hold your head up high, and that you grow old and raise sons and grandsons who will be exalted for the suns that they are. I add my prayers to the chorus: Black lives matter. Your life matters. I pray to God each day: Hold my son in your hands." Beautiful. A fantastic gift for new parents. In Your Hands is a story from a parent to a child. Their dreams, prayers, and reassurances are highlighted alongside Pinkney's gorgeous illustrations. "I will pray that you can always hold your head up high, and that you grow old and raise sons and grandsons who will be exalted for the suns that they are. I add my prayers to the chorus: Black lives matter. Your life matters. I pray to God each day: Hold my son in your hands." Beautiful. A fantastic gift for new parents.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    Beautiful and heartbreaking--it could be for any parent of a baby boy, but you gradually realize, because of some of the more pointed hopes and fears, that the speaker is a parent speaking to his/her black child. Then it becomes explicit on the next to last page--"I add my prayers to the chorus: Black lives matter. Your life matters." Beautiful and heartbreaking--it could be for any parent of a baby boy, but you gradually realize, because of some of the more pointed hopes and fears, that the speaker is a parent speaking to his/her black child. Then it becomes explicit on the next to last page--"I add my prayers to the chorus: Black lives matter. Your life matters."

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa Gudenburr

    A beautiful book written in lyrical form of an African American mother's prayers for her son to God. I liked the page stating "I will pray that the world sees you as a child of God; and, as you cast a longer shadow, that you will be viewed as a vessel to be steered rather than a figure to be feared." On the longer side but would be a good bedtime read aloud for an elementary child. A beautiful book written in lyrical form of an African American mother's prayers for her son to God. I liked the page stating "I will pray that the world sees you as a child of God; and, as you cast a longer shadow, that you will be viewed as a vessel to be steered rather than a figure to be feared." On the longer side but would be a good bedtime read aloud for an elementary child.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shiloah

    Nice idea until they threw a completely unrelated political message in the end that “black lives matter.” Yes, they followed it up with “all lives” matter, but there was no need to put it in this way and it broke the flow of the book. The Illustrations were strange and uninteresting for a children’s book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Ignasiak

    I love the Black Lives Matter message, but it's really wrapped up in this wish that turns into a prayer. And it's a heavy, very Christian prayer. So I couldn't use it for work, but I will recommend it to families who are looking for this type of material. Pinkney's illustrations are just beautiful. I love the Black Lives Matter message, but it's really wrapped up in this wish that turns into a prayer. And it's a heavy, very Christian prayer. So I couldn't use it for work, but I will recommend it to families who are looking for this type of material. Pinkney's illustrations are just beautiful.

  26. 5 out of 5

    WriteTheVision

    it's weird because although i liked the wispy softness of the illustrations and pastel color palette, i also felt as if it needed something bolder color-wise to accompany the story. the illustrations and story together all just seemed a little too soft and subtle, and it failed to create the lasting impression that i would've hoped for in a story such as this. it's weird because although i liked the wispy softness of the illustrations and pastel color palette, i also felt as if it needed something bolder color-wise to accompany the story. the illustrations and story together all just seemed a little too soft and subtle, and it failed to create the lasting impression that i would've hoped for in a story such as this.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    A wonderful book to read to your newborn, or to snuggle with your child and share how much love you have. It's essentially a prayer to hold your child safe and to have guidance as they grow. The photos are a bit abstract, which isn't really my thing, but I love the message. It's really targeted for the African American community, but of course the message resonates with everyone. A wonderful book to read to your newborn, or to snuggle with your child and share how much love you have. It's essentially a prayer to hold your child safe and to have guidance as they grow. The photos are a bit abstract, which isn't really my thing, but I love the message. It's really targeted for the African American community, but of course the message resonates with everyone.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    When I read this I could sense a mother's love for her son as he grew and the prayers that she prayed for him. She gave me a glimpse of her love for a son whose life might be marred by prejudice and fear. She gave me a book whose words touched my own heart for our sons. Thank you Carole Boston Weatherford. When I read this I could sense a mother's love for her son as he grew and the prayers that she prayed for him. She gave me a glimpse of her love for a son whose life might be marred by prejudice and fear. She gave me a book whose words touched my own heart for our sons. Thank you Carole Boston Weatherford.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kyra Nay

    A mother's fervent, hopeful, fearful, joyful benediction for a beloved son, a young Black boy facing adolescence and adulthood. "I will pray that you be spared injustice. And I will ask if you face old foes, God bless you with courage, equal to your convictions." A mother's fervent, hopeful, fearful, joyful benediction for a beloved son, a young Black boy facing adolescence and adulthood. "I will pray that you be spared injustice. And I will ask if you face old foes, God bless you with courage, equal to your convictions."

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    Excited about this author-illustrator matchup. And excited about the concept: Black Lives Matter in beautiful picture book form. Yet it seems over the head of any young child this book would be shared with. And is a little too God-centric for my comfort.

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