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Hands Up!

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  487 ratings  ·  115 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
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 22nd 2019 by Dial Books
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  487 ratings  ·  115 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,
This picture book is beautiful, honest, relevant, thought-provoking, and sweet. I am grateful it exists for children, students, and families everywhere. #BlackJoy
Rod Brown
I love the idea of the book as outlined in the author's note at the end, but the words and pictures that proceeded that statement just didn't click for me, lying flat on the page.

My tags: (view spoiler)
Susan Tan
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is STUNNING. Beautiful, energetic, and joyful.
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!
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
This book. THIS BOOK! What a gorgeous story.
tracy lou
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is as bright and beautiful as its author.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Alex  Baugh
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Morning comes and young Viv stretches her hands up high to greet the sun, and she continues to put her hands throughout the day. First, getting dressed, then reaching the water running in the sink to wipe up a spill, and later holding her hair up while grandma combs it and puts it in a bun, still later, Viv reaches high in school hoping to be called on by her teacher Ms. B.

In the library, Viv reaches up for a book on a high shelf, and gracefully raises her arms like Misty Copeland in ballet
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m always on the lookout for new books illustrated by Shane W. Evans, one of my favorites. This joyous book for children aged 4-8 shows the different ways in which kids are encouraged to raise their hands from the time they are very little. (For toddlers in my family, it was the prompted response to the question, “How big are you?”)

A young girl is urged by her parents to put up her hands to greet the sun, play peek-a-boo, take a stretch, get a hug, dance, pray, play ball, and make “high fives”
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Celebration, joy, and triumph! Because of who I am I didn't realize that this was reclaiming the phrase "hands up" until I read the author's note at the end. This is such a big world, and so many things I wish and pray for my daughter (and son)...and yet, there are so many things I will never, ever comprehend or ever have to comprehend as a mother, and I humbly acknowledge that. The beauty and grace of this book should be joyful acknowledgement and taking ownership of what has been a hurtful and ...more
Celebrating a different look at this title phrase is a young girl in all her activities. She holds 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. It is a young black girl who lifts her baby hands up to greet the sun, reaches her hands up for a glass of juice, and her hands up for help after a bike accident. In ballet and in basketball--"Hands up!" and raises her hands up in praise at a church service. Shane W. ...more
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.
Great Books
Jun 18, 2019 added it
Shelves: ages-3-5
Bright, colorful illustrations and shorter text depict a happy African-American preschool girl who keeps her hands up to complete everyday activities, receives encouragement from her family during mishaps and strives forward with her best efforts while enjoying childhood.

Reviewer 3

What an lovely way to celebrate and value the agency of a child. This book suggests a life of hope, opportunities for success, of friendships and loving families and how we can all come together in celebrating a world with common and kindly aspirations.
Kris Dersch
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is so great! It was always an uplifting and cute story for both parents and kids but the last page and the back matter are everything!
Simple text, bold illustrations, big message
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mock-caldecott
Took me a while to realize it is the same character throughout. Really liked the idea, but it was the afterword that made me make the connection to the rally cry. Powerful and joyous.
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.
Amy Brydon Jones
Wow! What a wonderful story, which focuses on the idea of unity and courage. If we all put our hands up and say enough is enough in the face of hardship and evil, we could then create a world where every life matters. I really loved the illustrations used along the repetitive and simple language in this story, as i thought they really brought the book to life.
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hands Up! is a lovely children's book that centers Black girlhood and burgeoning activism. I love how the book takes back the language of "hands up" and demonstrates the way that this phrase joyfully shows up in th life of a young Black girl. I love how diverse the activities are from ballet, basketball, church, marches/protests, and spending time with family. I think this book is a lovely way to begin to have conversations with children about agency and resistance. Super cute book.
Darlena 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,
Amy Layton
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
McDaniel reframes the stigmatized phrase "Hands up!" by positioning it in everyday circumstances as the main character grows up. The main character's hands go up when she wants to ask a question, when she's excited, when she's playing--all culminating to an end of putting her hands up together with a group of protesters. It's a powerful book and a powerful image that works to understand and critique the goings-on of today's political scene. And alongside Evans' bright illustrations, this book ...more
Viviane Elbee
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book shows many positive "hands up" moments, such as high fives, reaching a book you like on the top shelf, or walking holding hands with mommy and daddy.

For very young toddlers it will probably ressemble other concept books, with bright illustrations and a variety of situations for the young main character.

For older elementary students it can be used for more serious discussions, especially if the author’s note at the end of the book is also shared with students.

Kid enjoyed this book.

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