Join Hands: The Ways We Celebrate Life
By: Pat Mora & George Ancona
Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, 2008
Age Level: 5 and up
Singing, dancing, playing, and just being silly are all more fun when friends share those moments.
Pat Mora weaves the repeating lines of a pantoum, a Malaysian poetic form, into a joyful tribute to community. The lively rhythms and intertwining activities are perfectly matched with George Ancona’s energetic photos. Together the words and pictures capture many ways of celebrating good times with others.
“Join Hands! is a book about friends and all of the activities that they can do together. They play, have parades, dance and surprise each other. The pictures are photographs and really funny! The best part of the book is when the friends have a pet parade. I wish I was in their parade with my pet dog, Momo! I think first graders would really enjoy this great book! It is a book they could read by themselves.”
– A.Y. Third grade, Elmhurst Elementary School,
CSCL Picture Book Reviews
“And now Pat Mora and George Ancona have created a single-pantoum picture book! I declare it The Year of the Pantoum! The pantoum is the perfect form for Mora’s poem. She explains, “A pantoum is a repeating form written in four-line stanzas. The second and fourth lines in one stanza become the first and third lines in the next stanza. In the last stanza, the second and fourth lines are almost the same as the frst and third lines of the first stanza. So, like a group of friends joining hands, the poem becomes a circle.”
– A YEAR OF READING, Two Teachers Who Read… A Lot
“Lively photographs celebrate both individuality and community. From singing and dancing to a pet parade and masquerade, the joys of playing together are made manifest through Ancona’s trademark high-spirited pictures. Parents familiar with The Electric Company and other pieces produced by the Children’s Television Network will wax nostalgic over the candid photos with natural light; the clean design and wide diversity of representations in the photos will also capture the attention of younger readers. Mora calls on kids to join in the fun using a pantoum, a Malaysian poetic form. Composed of four-line stanzas in which the second and fourth lines of each stanza become the first and third lines of the next stanza, the pantoum enlivens the text with repetition and rhythm. The full poem is included at the end with color-coded lines to help readers understand its structure, along with a friendly explanation of the form.”
– Kirkus Review