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Hold Hands

3.30  ·  Rating details ·  236 ratings  ·  46 reviews
NYT Book Review 2019 25 Best Children's Books

In Hold Hands, beloved graphic novelist and children's book author Sara Varon offers a sweet rhyming story for toddlers about friendship and connection.

Hold hands each time you cross the street.
Hold hands on the bus if you don’t have a seat.
Hold hands when you say goodbye.
And also when you’re jumping high.

Everybody holds hands.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by First Second
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Average rating 3.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  236 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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La Coccinelle
Jul 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
I'm not that enamoured with this. It's for very young children, and much of the hand-holding is done from a safety perspective. I was hoping for something that talked a bit about how holding hands is nothing to be ashamed of, but this appears to be aimed at an age group that hasn't reached an age where they might be teased for holding hands.

The illustrations are just okay for me, and the meter is passable. There was something wrong with my e-book copy, though, because blocks of text seemed to be
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Grrr...uneven rhyming we meet again! Blech! I'll not hold back here; Varon is not one of my favorite illustrators, though I was looking forward to seeing how she would tell about this topic. And NOPE.

I DID like how she put a sort of burst emphasis around the hand-holding to emphasize it; that was fun! I wanted hand-holding to be taken to the next level though, I guess with showing that everyone, anyone can hold hands, and that it's fully okay to hold hands. Bummer. I liked the safety aspects, a
When we're very young, we're asked to hold hands for lots of different reasons: crossing the road, walking with a partner outside of school or even around a busy town with a parent. In a sweet, rhyming sequence, this is what the book is about. It's a colourful, cartoon-like picture book but I felt that the rhyming and poem itself stilted the meaning. Why hold hands going into a car? Or on a bridge? (I'd rather hold the railings). It's a well-intentioned story but it wasn't for me. Also, what if ...more
Carla Johnson-Hicks
3.5 stars, rounded up. This is a very cute book about holding hands. With a rhyming text and delightful illustrations, the author shows the importance of holding hands. Whether it is for safety (crossing the street) for comfort (when someone is sad), for confidence (going down steep stairs) or just for friendship, holding hands is a wonderful thing to do. My only drawback was that occasionally, the pacing and cadence changed and was a bit off for the rhyming patterns. I find that often, little o ...more
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's a day in the life of a preschooler in this adorable graphic novel by award-winning graphic novelist Sara Varon. Her adorable animal characters all hold hands: camels hold hands with giraffes, the sun and the moon share a hand-to-hand clasp as they pass in the sky, cats and dogs walk hand-in-hand, even the title page of the book sports colorful letters with sweet, smiling faces, holding onto one another. The whole day is seen as a series of hand-holding moments: a little bear holds hands wit ...more
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-book
Cute but a rhyme is totally dropped in the middle and the meter is wanting.
The Library Lady
I am not even going to go int the art, except that I find it sad that she had a Sendak fellowship, because I'll be kind and agree that the art is "cute," but that's being kind, and as far as I will go.

Now to the text. I have a treasured memory of my youth, when my parents would say (to the point that it turned into a chant for me and my brother): "This is a parking lot, you have to be very careful, you have to hold onto someone's hand." And contrary to what one nice reviewer said here, that's a
Mar 13, 2019 rated it liked it
children's picture book (reviewed by uncorrected galley), ages 2-5
sweet rhyming text and Varon's winning illustrations emphasize staying close to loved ones and helping each other. Sometimes the instances when you'd hold hands are physically awkward (or maybe just look that way in Varon's cartoons) such as when getting into the car, across the table eating cheese, or when getting a goodnight kiss from your parent (I would keep my hands snugly under the blankets, but maybe my drafty house is cold
Becky B
A rhyming picture book celebration of all the times and situations when it is good to hold hands.

The holding hands situations covered in this book include things like companionship, safety, solidarity, friendship, love, lending bravery, care, and bittersweet moments. It’s a cute picture book with Varon’s signature style of animal characters and kids will likely eat it up. There are lots of picture books about hugs and kisses out there, but I can’t think of another one about holding hands. Kids l
Ideal for sharing with little ones as they learn the many reasons for holding hands with someone, this sweet picture book offers reassurance that holding hands can provide comfort and security when out and about in unfamiliar places. Telling the story in rhyming lines makes it even more relatable for its intended young audience. There are several different animals of various sizes featured in the illustrations, and youngsters will finish it with a new appreciation for why someone might want to h ...more
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books-e
Very simplistic, and while yes it is good to hold hands for safety, there are plenty of books that teach this in a less list-like way. This book felt like a list of times you can hold hand.
I felt like it didnt really cover holding hands just because (for friendship, etc.) very much, it listed times but didn't really explain it, but it also didnt seem to cover that it's okay to not hold hands too.
Ann Williams
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am a HUGE Sara Varon fan and this book does not disappoint! Great for all elementary students and perfect for social/emotional learning. Great way to introduce the concept of metaphor to upper elementary students.
Spencer Vaughn
Nov 21, 2019 rated it liked it
this is a very simple book for young children, maybe first grade or kindergarten. This would be a great book to help teach buddy system rules to students but it is not particularly interesting as a story. This book has limited application for teachers or students after the first few grades.
Carol Tilley
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids
A sweet and encouraging book for preschoolers.
(Read via e-galley provided by the publisher through NetGalley).
Adriana Martinez Figueroa
Incredibly sweet 💕
A very cute and sing-songy description of many times to hold hands. Not comprehensive, but it makes the point. Holding hands can be for anyone, for many reasons.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a really cute story with great illustrations.
Diane Madlon-Kay
Jun 29, 2019 rated it liked it
3 stars
Edward Sullivan
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A charming, simple rhyming story about friendship and connection.
Jul 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Clever story of holding hands in all situations.
Colorful illustrations.
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Simple, bold illustrations, and a fun story (and lesson) about holding hands to be safe.
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great little read aloud for the toddler set. Cozy and cute. Demonstrates the benefits of holding hands.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very sweet story with awesome illustrations!
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm gonna read this to my almost two year old and hope she starts wanting to hold my hand again and stop breaking my heart by saying "no" any time I ask. lol ...more
Aug 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Cute rhyme book that would be good for a storytime
Checked this out at the library as it was reviewed in the NY Times Book Review. I think this would be a great book for a child who lives in the city (versus the suburbs).
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
fine and forgettable
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This rating is only slightly inflated by my complete love for Sara Varon.
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