Although April in Chicago had its fair share of gray skies and blustery winds, it teased us with sunshine, warmth, and brilliant blue skies. May brings promises of more beautiful weather and more time spent outdoors, making In the Palm of My Hand the perfect picture book for this month. Even more exciting is the fact that In the Palm of My Hand, illustrated by Isabella Conti, is author Jennifer Raudenbush’s debut picture book!
What I love about this book is the storyline that comes together via Isabella’s illustrations. Even without a traditional plot structure, we get to follow a young boy as he plays outside and appreciates that the small wonders of nature have big possibilities. For example, an acorn holds a forest and a grain of sand leads to building a kingdom full of adventures. And the last illustration sparks curiosity in the youngest of readers, while giving older readers a great visual of the possibilities that reside within themselves.
Jennifer’s text is soft and lyrical, adding to the wonder we feel as the boy goes about his day, marveling at nature. The words lead readers to ask questions like, “How does the acorn hold a forest?” and “How did the raindrop journey from the sea?” These questions lend themselves perfectly to teachable moments, lessons, even whole units. Wouldn’t this be a wonderful book to introduce an inquiry-based unit at home or in the classroom? The question about the raindrop and the sea naturally prompts a study of the water cycle. Parents and teachers can even include properties of water–raindrops on windows are perfect for learning about cohesion. Other cycles In the Palm of My Hand can springboard are the life cycle of a butterfly and life cycle of a plant.
In addition to all the educational value Jennifer’s words and Isabella’s illustrations offer, the book is like a sweet lullaby. The sentences are full of beautiful, descriptive verbs, the artwork is not too busy, perfectly matching the calm feeling of the text, and the repeated phrase, “in the palm of my hand,” is great for little ones in the early stages of reading. After only one read-aloud from me, I was amazed when my three-year-old started “reading” the book on her own.
Please be sure to check this book out at your library or you can purchase it right from Jennifer’s website here. If you love it, consider leaving a review on Amazon or Goodreads.
- What is imagination?
- Are there limits to our imaginations?
- Why is imagination important?
- How does our imagination help us?
- CCSS RL 1.1 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
- CCSS RL 1.4 Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.
- CCSS RL 1.7 Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting or events.
- NGSS K-ESS3-1 Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals (including humans) and the place they live.
- NGSS 2-LS2-2 Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.
- NGSS 3-LS1-1 Develop models that describe organisms which have unique and diverse life cycles, but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.
- WIDA ELD 1 English language learners communicate for social and instructional purposes within the school setting.
- WIDA ELD 2 English language learners communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of language arts.
- WIDA ELD 4 English language learners communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of science.
Download this FREE educator’s guide to use with your students. This guide was designed by fellow teacher and writer, Kari Allen. You can find more of her work here.
Like this book? Have you used this resource? Please leave a comment below.
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