Hold Hands

First Second. Jun. 2019. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781596435889.
PreS-K–Graphic novelist Varon’s (Robot Dreams, Sweater Weather) return to picture books (Chicken & Cat) is a comforting look at how holding hands is representative of the ways we connect with others to help us through our days. As the day starts, readers see a young bear holding hands with a younger sibling, an older sibling, and at times a stuffed animal as the bear offers support or receives the comfort or encouragement that she needs. As the day moves forward, the bear holds hands while going down a flight of stairs, commuting to preschool, on her way to a playdate, listening to a bedtime story, and in her dreams. Varon’s distinct comic style of bold lines creates a world of diverse animal characters, and her comforting complementary muted color palette will appeal to child readers. Every pair of hands being held, whether in the background or forefront, is highlighted by a star, and the sun and moon are shown holding hands as they change places in the sky. Soothing rhymes makes this a great lap book that shows readers a myriad of ways that they can offer comfort and support to others and themselves.
VERDICT This warmhearted book will hold up over many readings, and is a must purchase for libraries serving younger patrons

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