"Loving Hands"

In February it’s fitting to suggest a Baby Buzz Pick that focuses on love — “Loving Hands,” by Tony Johnston, fits the bill, with a heartfelt story and luminous illustrations by Amy June Bates.

Since 2007, The Missourian has been suggesting books for little ones birth to age 5, with a review of each month’s Baby Buzz Pick appearing in the second weekend issue of the newspaper.

The reviews are written alternately by Chris Stuckenschneider, Missourian book editor, and Maria Brady-Smith, former parent educator with the Washington School District. The following review was written by Brady-Smith:

“Whether you are a brand new parent, an empty nester or somewhere in between, ‘Loving Hands’ is sure to touch your heart and maybe bring a tear to your eye.

“Johnston’s poetic voice combines perfectly with ethereal illustrations by Bates in this exploration of the ever-changing relationship between a parent and child.

“There are many lovely and familiar details in word and picture as a baby grows to toddler, boy, adolescent and man. The common thread throughout the shared experience is loving hands — hands that hold and comfort, clap and play, garden and bake together, soothe and encourage, and eventually, let go.

“This story is sure to help children understand the cycle of life as it reinforces how a parent’s love grows with them. It would also be a perfect gift for new and expectant parents, one that they will enjoy sharing with their child for years to come.”