Soon, Your Hands

by Jonathan Stutzman (Author) Elizabeth Lilly (Illustrator)

Soon, Your Hands
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

Come get to know three neighboring families, each with a young child learning about themselves in this wondrous world. This poetic picture book is a parent's ode to everything their child is--and will be--capable of doing as they grow.

Tonight, each small hand fits inside their parent's hand. But soon, this hand will grow--to dig deep in the dirt, make masterpieces and mistakes, and tell stories only it can tell.

With text that captures the potential in every child and glowing art that exudes warmth, this book braids three children's stories into one of family love.

From award-winning author Jonathan Stutzman and rising illustrator Elizabeth Lilly comes this tender book, perfect for cuddling together at bedtime.

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Kirkus Reviews

Beautifully tender and thoughtful.


Starred Review
A gorgeous rendering of how everyday moments can convey a lifetime of wonder and security.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

"Tonight," writes Stutzman (The Mouse Who Carried a House on His Back), channeling three sets of caregivers' monologues, "I hold your hands, / so small/ they fit inside my own.// But soon, // your hands will grow./ And learn." In loose-lined watercolor and ink art by Lilly (The Catalogue of Hugs), three families are shown living side by side in a block of palm-shaded, brightly colored row houses. In one, a family portrayed with brown skin prepares for a birthday party. Next door, a brown-skinned child who wears hearing aids and uses sign language takes a trip to the beach. And in the semidetached home on the end, a pale-skinned child spends days with an older adult--perhaps a grandparent--while a younger adult works a night shift. Each family cherishes the child in their midst, savoring moments of closeness, encouraging independence, and dreaming of the fully realized adults their offspring will become. Building on anticipatory text, empathic art chronicles the children's respective forays into autonomy: decorating a parent's birthday cake, braving the expansiveness of the ocean, and adopting a stray kitten while working at a community garden. By book's end, readers will be invested in each of these families across time--and perhaps wish to be their neighbors, too. An ASL glossary concludes. Ages 3-5. Agent (for author and illustrator): Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. (Mar.)

Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Jonathan Stutzman
Jay Fleck is an Illinois-based designer and illustrator who has illustrated many books for children. He lives south of Chicago.

Jonathan Stutzman is an award-winning filmmaker and writer. His short films have screened at film festivals all over the world and on television. He lives in Palmyra, Pennsylvania.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication date
March 20, 2023
BISAC categories
JUV039220 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Values & Virtues
JUV013040 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | New Baby
Library of Congress categories

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