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With My Hands: Poems About Making Things
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With My Hands: Poems About Making Things

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  143 ratings  ·  47 reviews
For young makers and artists, brief, lively poems illustrated by a NYT bestselling duo celebrate the pleasures of working with your hands.

Building, baking, folding, drawing, shaping . . . making something with your own hands is a special, personal experience. Taking an idea from your imagination and turning it into something real is satisfying and makes the maker proud.

Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 27th 2018 by Clarion Books
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Laura Mossa
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Special thanks to Amy Ludwig VanDerWater for sending a copy of With My Hands to our #bookexcursion group. All opinions are my own.

While it’s true that “a maker creates something new that never was before,” creativity can come in many forms. Ludwig VanDerwater has written 26 poems celebrating countless ways ideas can come to life with one’s own hands.

What I love about the poems is the reminder that creating is a very personal experience. In Painting, the painter shares that “nobody can tell I’m
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love this celebration of creativity through words and ideas. In my opinion, the madness of maker spaces seems to move readers further away from books. It's a must-have for every "maker" bc best spaces and places connect literacy and learning, "making" stronger readers and writers. ...more
Mary Lee
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, 2018, makerspace
Every maker-space and genius hour needs multiple copies of this book! Inspiring, delightful, and just plain fun.
Christina Carter
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-excursion
With My Hands: Poems About Making Things resonated with me so much. It stirred my creative heart and got my brain buzzing and brimming with thoughts and ideas of possibilities unbound.

You’ll have to stick with me for a moment as I share with you how Amy’s book prompted me to think about what Making looks like and means to me in my library media center.

The library to me has always been a launch pad for possibility. Wondering about and discovering the world around us through books, research, and
First sentence: I am a maker.

Premise/plot: With My Hands is a themed collection of poems by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. The theme of the collection is "making things." What kinds of things? All sorts. Not just artsy things like drawings, paintings, cards, and collages. But all sorts. For example, I wasn't expecting a poem about soap carving or making shadow puppets on the wall! I think there is enough variety to inspire and encourage every young reader to say I want to try that!

My thoughts: I enjoy
Amber Webb
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Our classroom LOVED "With My Hands" by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. We used this book as a standby for poetry month in April. We made sure to read at least one poem from the book each day. It often inspired work and activity in the classroom. When a book can inspire learning and development, it is gold standard. Each poem presented opportunities! This is an excellent classroom book to inspire art, creativity and STEM. ...more
Alex Simon
Mar 27, 2022 rated it it was amazing
(POETRY) With my Hands: Poems About Making Things shares a collection of short poems about different forms of creativity and talks about the excitement and satisfaction each one brings. The first poem talks about being a maker and creating new things. It talks about what a maker does and is a great start to this book getting kids in the mindset that they are a creator. It goes on to have poems about making: painting, clay, birdhouse, parachute, boat, card, knot, soap carving, tie-dye shirt, coll ...more
Debbie Tanner
A poetry book about making things! How cool is that?
The beginning of a new school year is a time when everyone has a fresh start to try new things. This book of poems really celebrates the maker and artist in everyone, whether or not you consider yourself to be an artist. After reading this poems about making all sorts of things: boats, tie-dye shirts, messes, leaf pictures, forts, and cookies, I realized that even if I don't consider myself to be artsy, I have made many items in this book. The collage-style illustrations pop off the page and rea ...more
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Reading this gem from my #bookposse reading group was even more enjoyable as I read it aloud with my super creator son age 6. I love how this book of poems takes on a STEAM theme. It reinforces the creations children make and gives them ideas for new things too. Beautiful illustrations mean that you linger on a page talking about the depictions. Great for your already creative kids and then ones looking for a little inspiration.
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Wonderful! A great addition to any school library with a makerspace or schools with STEM classes.
Wendy Garland
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, makerspace, 2018
I especially enjoyed the first and last poems about making and being a maker.
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A must for any elementary library especially those with a makerspace. The poems capture the very spirit and importance of making, tinkering, and creating. Each poem dedicated to a different maker idea provides inspiration for creating something new. I look forward to using this book frequently with my students in the library this school year.
Ro Menendez
An ode to Making and Makers! Each poem in this book is a young creator's gem! 25 poems celebrate making with paper mâché, paint, recycled materials, yarn, paper, soap, plastic, and more! The poems capture the excitement and hope that creators experience as they set out to make. Two poems in particular tugged at my heart; the first one "Card", which beautifully expresses why handmade gifts are truly precious., I will make sure I share with our library readers and makers, as it’s important to be a ...more
I'd like to celebrate Amy's new book, With My Hands: Poems About Making Things. More than once I have wished I was teaching again. My school's philosophy was built on a few concepts including the learning that comes from making things. I am grateful for the joy of having two young granddaughters near who visit often, ready to create!
Amy defines what a maker is in the first poem, "Maker": he or she "is a tinkerer, a maker will explore./A maker creates/something new/that/never/was/before" and a
Carrie J
Mar 11, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Such a fun poetry book about making things with your hands. This book gives a plethora of ideas that are simple to do with your students, while sharing wonderful poetry. Even the way the poetry is set up on some of the pages is something to be studied/questioned/discussed. I’ve loved using this with my 1-4th graders.
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
With My Hands is a collection of poems about making things. It's about the personal experience of building, baking, folding, drawing, shaping... starting from scratch with "empty space, ideas, hope and stuff" and creating something new "that never was before." Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson's joyful, collage-style illustrations help bring VanDerwater's words to life.

Among VanDerwater's many gifts as a writer, probably the one that impresses me most is her ability to tap into her inner 7-year-old
Christine Turner
Building, baking, folding, drawing, shaping . . . making something with your own hands is a special, personal experience. Taking an idea from your imagination and turning it into something real is satisfying and makes the maker proud.

Maker -- Painting -- Clay -- Birdhouse -- Parachute -- Boat -- Card -- Knot -- Soap carving -- Tie-dye shirt -- Collage -- Pinata -- Glitter picture -- Mess -- Spaceship -- Sock puppet -- Drawing -- Leaf pictures -- Fort -- Origami -- Cookies -- Snowman -- Knitting
Laura Shovan
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The paper snowflake poem is my favorite in this beautiful book about the joy of making things -- simply brilliant.
Holly Griffin
The book provides a number of poems that are all relating to the theme of "making something." "Painting, Spaceships, Leaf pictures, and more" are a few of the titles that are amongst the crafty-themed poems and the artistic activities in mention are not only for children, but can be for adults as well. Activities such as drawing, origami, snowmen, and more are ones that possibly all ages can relate to in their current lives.
The writing specifically appears to have a similar voice throughout the
Donna Merritt
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a school librarian, my vision statement is: "Every student is a reader, an information seeker, a thinker, a tinkerer, and a lifelong learner." As such, they are MAKERS who engage in makerspaces. Makerspaces are hands-on activities that promote cooperation, motivate students to figure things out, and decrease stress.

So, you can imagine my delight in discovering Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's new book of children's poems.

Today's child grows up surrounded by technology. Think back to days of creating
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
VanDerwater, Amy Ludwig With My Hands: Poems About Making Things, pictures by Lou Fancher & Steve Johnson. PICTURE BOOK. Clarion (Houghton), 2018. $18. 9780544313408.

VanDerwater uses a wide variety of poetry styles to celebrate an array of creative arts and STEM activities.

I enjoy the short, pithy poems the best, but each poem would be a great launch for an exploration activity. The illustrations add vibrancy and whimsy to the poems and inspiration for inventions and play. A good fit for school
Helen Casserly
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! 'With my Hands' is Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's about to be released, amazing collection of poems about making things. It will speak to all the artists, creatives, tinkerers & engine-nerds out there! Each poem is an invitation to create & the illustrations by Lou Fancher & Steve Johnson add a wonderful vibrancy.
All credit to Amy for reaching those with (STEM) connections who are rarely included in this beautiful genre. This book is a 'must have' for teachers & parents of creative children.

Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Amy Ludwig VanDerwater for sharing a copy of With My Hands with #BookPosse! The poems are all about things to do in ones makerspace. Whether painting, creating origami, making spaceships or snowflakes, it can all be done in your own space! I can think of quite a few teachers I’ll be recommending this to but anyone can take these ideas and create anywhere! The poems are a perfect example of creating the way you want. They are done in different types and shapes. A great addition to any c ...more
Jun 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I love the poems and the bright colorful illustrations, but... most of the examples of making things were conventional kid related art projects. There are so many different ways people can make things with their hands. I wanted it to be broader in its scope to let all children identify with at least one poem in the book. Perhaps gardening, building a bird house with Grandpa, making a cake... There are so many different jobs and hobbies related to making things that could have been included. I di ...more
Ashley Jones
Mar 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry-5
In this book of poems, the illustrator adds a creative touch with all the different drawings/paintings. Each page is unique, which adds to the idea that making things with your hands is special, creative and unique. It is important for students to learn about poems, so this book would be a great tool to use in class that would generate ideas for students to create things or maybe even write their own poem about something they've already created. ...more
Oct 09, 2022 rated it really liked it
Poems about making things throughout from painting to construction projects this book defines what it means to be a maker! The illustrations by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson exude the joy of creating things from origami to snowflakes and knitting to baking. This is a lovely addition to any elementary poetry collection!

Thank you, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, for the perfect collection to use when we are working on creating things for the joy of creating!
Paul  Hankins
We'll share a review of this collection a little closer to the book's publication date. I just wanted to make sure that this new collection of poems by my maker-friend, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. It's a special collection that must be in every maker space around the world. No maker space? No worries. That maker space can be as local and small as the first reader with whom you share this book. ...more
Great poems about making and creating. Especially on a child's level and the many different things they enjoy and can do. I think my SD--who loves to create in many forms and has a mother who is skilled in some of those ways, too--would enjoy many of these. Good illustrations to go with the poems. ...more
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-lms
A wonderful collection of different types of arts and crafts that a child can do with her hands! The rhyming text affords listeners a chance to fill in the blanks as they are read to. It is also a great source for projects on rainy weekend days!

Curriculum Connections: poetry, maker space, visual arts, rhyming
Text Features: lots of 'white' space
Audience: grades 1-4th
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Highly recommended 1 2 Mar 17, 2018 04:58PM  

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Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is author of several poetry books for children including Forest Has a Song, With My Hands, Read! Read! Read!, and Write! Write! Write!. In addition, she is author of picture books Every Day Birds, Dreaming of You, That Missing Feeling, poems in many anthologies, and popular classroom blogs The Poem Farm and Sharing Our Notebooks. Her newest book is If This Bird Had Pockets: ...more

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