Happy Book Birthday to Amy Ludwig VanDerWater’s With My Hands: Poems About Making Things.
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 painting wrong.” In Collage, the carefully chosen scraps torn from photos are a “window to my heart.” Making also teaches perseverance and patience. In Knot, the narrator says while “it is not easy to tie a knot, I am “knot” giving up.” In Soap Carving and Tie Dye Shirt, we are reminded that it takes time to create something, and in Clay, listening is important because the lump of clay will “tell you what it is and what it is not.”
Of course, the very best part about being a maker is that you are forever changed. As Ludwig VanDerwater eloquently writes in the last poem baring the same name as the book title, “I am different because I brought something new to life in my hands.” Fancher’s and Johnson’s illustrations demonstrate a variety of mediums from pencil and paint to collage in their bold yet warm illustrations. The illustrations coupled with the poetry invite all readers to become makers and thinkers by rolling up their sleeves and getting messy!
With a district focus on Developing Lifelong Learners Through Literacy and the creation of Makerspaces in elementary, middle, and high school libraries, With My Hands is the perfect book to support initiatives in my district, Baltimore County Public Schools. I plan on sharing this gorgeous book in my district!
Special thanks to Amy Ludwig VanDerWater for sending a copy of With My Hands to our #bookexcursion group.