Meet Miranda Paul’s WHOSE HANDS ARE THESE?

Whose Hands Are These?It seems like we just welcomed in the New Year.

But now, it’s almost February. And that means it’s nearly time to celebrate another new beginning.

And that’s the launch of Miranda Paul’s newest picture book WHOSE HANDS ARE THESE?

This book, which is illustrated by Luciana Navarro Powell and published by Millbrook Press, has an official release date of Feb. 1. But word on the  street is that some bookstores already are stocking it and some lucky folks already have received online orders.

This is nice because the book succeeds on several fronts. It has:

Fun, readable rhyme.

Yes, you hear that editors don’t like rhyme. But that’s because so much of the rhyme they receive is stiff, stilted or convoluted. (And, I’ve done enough conference critiques to get a small sampling of what editors see.)

Good rhyme can be read aloud as easily as prose — without any stumbling or tripping over words. And this book does just that.

Hands can wiggle, hands can clap.
Hands can wrap and flap and tap.
But hands can help — so raise yours, please!
Can you guess?
Whose hands are these?

Powerful page turns.

Anytime someone is reading your book, you want them to keep turning the pages. And this book ends each two-page spread with a question or a sentence that trails off for readers to finish. The rhyme helps younger readers guess the answers. For example:

These hands flip through food-stained books.
These hands belong to gifted …

Then there’s the page turn and the answer the kids will have called out by now.


Contemporary images.

The great thing about a book like this that talks about specific community-helping careers is that it can reflect reality. Which seems an obvious thing to say, but it’s amazing how many books still show characters that are predominantly Caucasian or have mostly men in certain roles and mostly women in others.

Each time a career is mentioned here, the illustration shows a diverse group of people performing that job. So you see male elementary school teachers and female mechanics and people of a variety of ages from a variety of backgrounds.

Back matter.

Back matter is a fancy term for extra, educational material found at the back of books. It can include an author’s note or glossary or additional details. I love learning fun facts, so I adore back matter. And, guess what? This book has it. There are descriptions of each career mentioned in the story, plus a note from Miranda about all the careers she considered and worked before becoming an author.

This is a fun book that adults will enjoy reading and kids will enjoy listening to and helping read.


  1. As a reading specialist, I love reading books to kids that engage them in conversation. On a second read with this book, I’d have the kids try to guess a few of the rhyming words [phonemic awareness].

  2. Kudos to Miranda on yet another great book.

    Cindy Schumerth

  3. What a great concept! I wish I had thought of it. (But then I can’t draw hands.)

  4. Thanks for the great review, Pat. I love all the points you shared. I look forward to reading it soon.

  5. Can’t wait to read this one. I love rhyme and have a background in career development. Perfect. Thanks, Pat.

  6. This looks just fabulous! Will definitely be picking this one up when I can!

  7. Can’t wait to read it!

  8. Miranda has such a gift for turning an ordinary topic into something extraordinary. What a joyous read aloud!

  9. What a great concept—Can’t wait to get my hands on it!

  10. This books looks wonderful! So glad to know about.

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