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Hands Up!

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  147 ratings  ·  39 reviews
This triumphant picture book recasts a charged phrase as part of a black girl's everyday life--hands up for a hug, hands up in class, hands up for a high five--before culminating in a moment of resistance at a protest march.

A young black girl lifts her baby hands up to greet the sun, reaches her hands up for a book on a high shelf, and raises her hands up in praise at a ch
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 22nd 2019 by Dial Books
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4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  147 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Kids; Parents
So this book shows a little black girl growing up in America. It has her raising her hands up for various things in her life. Greeting the sun, playing peek-a-boo, getting dressed, stretching to reach something on a shelf, using the sink, holding her hair back, swinging on her mom and dad's arms,

raising hands in class, reaching for the book on the high shelf, going into fifth position in ballet, riding a bike with hands in the air,

accepting help when she falls, raising her hands at a concert,
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books

Hands up! What comes to mind when you hear those two words together? Sadly, for me, I think of apprehension and blue flashing lights and fear. Breanna McDaniel’s Hands Up! takes those words back!

This book uses and says “hands up!” in happy or everyday ways. With a timeline of events from baby to toddler to teen, the words are paired up with peek-a-boo, dancing, unity, and more. These beautiful pages bring the joy back into the words. And puts the joy back in our hands!

“High fives all around, ha
This picture book is beautiful, honest, relevant, thought-provoking, and sweet. I am grateful it exists for children, students, and families everywhere. #BlackJoy
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book. THIS BOOK! What a gorgeous story.
A delightful and beautifully crafted book that celebrates all the joyful ways to have your Hands Up! This is a much needed reminder (and counter story) to the negative and usually less than nuanced single narrative of the phrase Hands Up!
A positive portrayal of being told to put your "hands up!"--singing in church, getting dressed, fixing hair, 5th position in ballet ("graceful like Ms. Misty"), playing defense in basketball, and high fives. Last page shows everyone with hands up at a rally holding signs that say, "Black Lives Matter," "Water=Life," and "Ningun ser humano es ilegal." Not many words on each page--short and simple. Would be great for reading to a group of children as they could put their hands up for each action. ...more
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hands Up is learning, growing, and reaching. It's praise, it's perseverance, it's love. Wonderful, colorful illustrations with a beautiful depiction of family, achievement, and self-confidence. This picture book has captured my heart, and I can't wait to share it with everybody! Audiences young and old will adore Hands Up.
Bonnie Grover
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lift your hands in joy and celebration! This book helps students see how important their voices and lives are. Its sure to be a favorite for adults and kids. Thank you #BookPosse for the early read.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
There is hidden power in this book, reclaiming the act of "hands up" and putting a positive, joyful spin on it.
Matt Craft
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
The characters are black, and the book adds poignancy by reclaiming “Hands Up” for common, happy moments at a time when those two words have become charged with difficult connotations. That re-appropriation is subtle enough, though, that the book can be enjoyed even without the subtext and would make a lovely read aloud or lap book for toddlers through pre-K.
Cheryl Gladfelter
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book, 2019
Shows all the ways a young black girl raises her hands during her life--getting dressed, ballet class, basketball, and protests are some examples. A beautifully illustrated book.
Lindsay Leslie
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a celebration! HANDS UP! for all the good things, for reaching new heights, for trying but needing help, for protest, for sustenance, for love and respect. And don't miss the author's note at the end. Read it and then reread it.
Aliza Werner
Connotations of the phrase “hands up” range from joy and celebration to fear and anger. I loved how the phrase showed how to uplift, especially celebrating a young Black girl. Don’t miss the end note by the author.
Jillian Heise
Don't miss the author & illustrator notes at the end that explain the deeper meaning behind this book.
Esther Glenn
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love the celebration of lifting up your arms and hands in joy! I could hear a couple of beloved gospel tunes as I finished reading. This book is definitely one I'd like to own for my own personal library.

So today at Read Aloud with my students, I decided to read "Hands Up." This book features the same illustrator as "My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood" that I read to them 3 months ago. After I read "Hands Up," I asked the students for their thoughts on the book. One of my students said, "That'
Sandy Brehl
This is a charming interpretation of the expression so often associated with potentially tragic circumstances, including the chants of "HANDS UP!" in protest marches in recent years.
In this case the core concept and expression of hands up varies form a toddler's earliest outreach to dance studios to getting dressed to high fives. Vibrant illustrations with diverse characters provide an array of familiar and upbeat scenes, emphasizing the central concepts of /hands/ and /up/ for toddlers, alive
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poc-rep, picture-book
As the author wrote in her author's note: For many people, the phrase "hands up" brings forward difficult emotions like anger, sadness, frustration, and fear. With this story, I wanted to emphasize the ways I've experienced that phrase as part of my everyday life [...] I want the world to remember that black kids are just that-- kids [...] with lives full of happiness and struggle and triumph and even sadness.
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: k-3rd grade
A vibrant and colorfully illustrated, joyful and affirming book of a girl's life that demonstrates her intelligence (hands up in class), athleticism (hands up on the bball court and at the ballet barre), and community membership (hands up to help clean, to worship, to stand for herself and others). A powerful retaking of the phrase "hands up" from the negative to the positive. Would be a good book to share and talk about with a small group or one-on-one.
Piper Hale
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This beautifully illustrated children's book celebrates the joy and exuberance of the main character's (Viv's) daily life. The story provides an uplifting take on the phrase, "hands up," and offers a reclamation of those words. The illustration style is colorful and jubilant, and the message is a positive one for any young reader (or pre-reader).
Feb 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
From reaching to a high shelf to reaching to be picked up to celebrating in worship, McDaniel takes this phrase and gives it new meaning.
Softly colored illustrations support the gentle meaning of the text.
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
A whole new look at the phrase Hands Up. I like the concept, brilliant illustrations. Not sure if really very young children would take the phrase in a negative way. Would you talk to them about that situation if they it isn't relatable?
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Cute positive book.

Did anyone else hear Luda's name when they read "hands up"?

Just me? ok
Interactive, kids can put their hands up for each section!
Note from the author: “You matter. Your joy will be celebrated. Your struggles will be supported. Your love will be returned. You deserve to thrive” ❤ ...more
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Highly recommended for ages 3-6.
Lynn  Davidson
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
A story - more an expression - of heart and joy. Wonderful illustrations.
Linda Atkinson
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is positive, powerful, and a platform to have a discussion with children about resistance and social activism.
Brimming with color, movement, and joy. The final page is about taking part in a movement for change. Shows all the ways "hands up!" can be positive words.
Maggie Mattmiller
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was thinking three or four stars, until I read the author's note at the end. Definitely five. Powerful message!
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