Join Hands! book cover image

Join Hands!

  • 1595

By: Pat Mora / Photographs by: George Ancona

“Join hands with everyone, and your feet begin their dance.”

Who doesn’t love a good celebration? Whether you’re marching in a pet parade or planning a masquerade, enjoying good times is always fun, especially when you can strut and ballyhoo with friends. From singing canciones to planning a hoopla day, Join Hands! joyfully celebrates the many ways that children build communities with friends of all ages.

Award-winning author Pat Mora weaves the repeating lines of a pantoum, a Malaysian poetic form with a specific pattern of repetition, while George Ancona’s lively photos capture the ways that kids have fun with others. Join Hands! is not only a wonderful way to celebrate diversity and play, but also a great tool to teach poetry that relates to kids’ lives.

Look Inside the Book:

Author & Illustrator Bios:

Pat Mora, author

Pat Mora is the author of over thirty books for children, including picture books, novels, nonfiction, bilingual books, and poetry. She is the founder of El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day). She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Read more about Pat.

George Ancona, photographer

George Ancona is an author and photographer. His photographs have appeared in many children’s books, including Join Hands, The Piñata Maker/El piñatero, and ¡Ole Flamenco!, the last two of which he wrote. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Read more about George.

Awards & Honors:

  • ABC Best Books for Children

Editorial Reviews:

Kirkus Reviews

Lively photographs celebrate both individuality and community. From singing and dancing to a pet parade and masquerade, the joys of playing together are made manifest through Ancona’s trademark high-spirited pictures. Parents familiar with The Electric Company and other pieces produced by the Children’s Television Network will wax nostalgic over the candid photos with natural light; the clean design and wide diversity of representations in the photos will also capture the attention of younger readers. Mora calls on kids to join in the fun using a pantoum, a Malaysian poetic form. Composed of four-line stanzas, in which the second and fourth lines of each stanza become the first and third lines of the next stanza, the pantoum enlivens the text with repetition and rhythm. The full poem is included at the end with color-coded lines to help readers understand its structure, along with a friendly explanation of the form. (Picture book. 3-6)

School Library Journal

Children of assorted ages and ethnicities dance, dress up, and act out different scenes. They play instruments, ice skate (alone and in groups), and perform or parade. Their energy is evident in every crisp, colorful photograph. The text is a pantoum, a Malaysian poetic form that repeats various elements in four-line stanzas. The repetition goes around like a circle, and the author says it reminds her of "friends joining hands." A concluding note explains the form, but it is not necessary to read it in order to enjoy this lively and beautiful book. Of course, it can also be used as a creative writing tool to teach the poetic form. –Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York City


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ISBN: 978-1-58089-202-5

E-book PDF
ISBN: 978-1-60734-008-9
For information about purchasing E-books, click here.

Ages: 4-7
Page count: 32
10 x 7

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