My Hands Tell a Story Trade Book (Hardcover)

Written By Kelly Startling Lyons
Illustrated by Tonya Engel
Critically Reviewed

A little girl, baking bread with her grandmother, becomes transported by the tales her grandmother’s hands tell—those that spring from the rose-painted nails, a flower-banded wedding ring, and the way her fingers move and glide. These hands have many tales to tell. But only if you listen.

SKU WW-NL5713
ISBN 9781478870616
Series Reycraft Books
Language English
SKU WW-NL5713
ISBN 9781478870616
Series Reycraft Books
Language English
BISAC Subject Headings Juvenile Fiction / People & Places / United States / African American
Juvenile Fiction / Family / Multigenerational
Juvenile Fiction / Imagination & Play
Juvenile Fiction / People & Places / United States / African American
Juvenile Fiction / Family / Multigenerational
Juvenile Fiction / Imagination & Play
Price $17.95
Author & Illustrator

Kelly Starling Lyons

Like Zoe, author Kelly Starling Lyons grew up baking treats with her Grandma. Now, she celebrates those special moments in stories. Kelly has written many acclaimed children's books including Caldecott Honor winner Going Down Home with Daddy, Christopher Award winner Tiara's Hat Parade and Geisel Honor winner, Ty's Travels: Zip, Zoom. She is a teaching artist and a founding member of The Brown Bookshelf. Kelly lives in North Carolina with her family. Visit her online at www.kellystarlinglyons.com

Tonya Engel

Tonya Engel is a self-taught artist  born in Texas and  has established studios in New York, Miami, Austin, and Houston, where she now lives. Heavily influenced by folk artists of the Deep South and Harlem Renaissance, Tonya’s illustrations speak to image, identity, and relationships. Combining decorative elements, oil paints, and occasional collage, the subjects are mainly women whose facial expressions invite thought and interpretation. Engel has received many awards, including a three-month residency in Paris, France.   

Reviews

★ In this heartwarming story, Zoe, a young Black girl, shares reflective conversation with her grandma, inspired by Zoe’s observations of her grandma’s skillful, graceful hands as they bake bread together. The grandmother reveals how her hands hold memories, love of family, and a life lived with purpose, all of which reassure Zoe that her own hands hold strength to shape the start of her own life story. This sincere relationship of trust and care is beautifully captured in oil-painted illustrations, where quiet, personal moments within the kitchen are accompanied by an elegant, symbolic focus on hands. Engel’s painterly brush strokes in captivating scenes create textured grooves, an integral element transforming the hands and scenes depicted into sculpted lines and lively colors that appear almost tangible to readers. Vivid blended layers and gentle swirls outline the figures for a glowing effect that echoes the thoughtful tone of the story. Readers will pause to share in the happiness and sense of peace that bloom on the family’s faces; the spirit of finding one’s calling in this expressively illustrated book honoring family and self-love.

-School Library Journal Starred Review

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