Hands Up! is one of those books I wish I did not have to rate. It is every rating and it is no rating. There are parts to love, dislike, learn from and wonder at. The phrase “your mileage may vary” or course, comes to mind. Breanna J. McDaniel and Shane Evans created a book that everyone will relate to this book on their own level. Their own likes, dislikes, experiences and preconceived notions will come into play and that will decide your level of enjoyment of Hands Up!
The afterwards by the author brings even more into play. She mentions that usually “Hands Up” is not usually a positive message currently. Yet, she wanted to show the ways in her personal life that “Hands Up” was positive and from a good memory and time. She shows you all the places you can put your “hands up” (church, while getting dressed, playing peek-a-boo, greeting the sun, reaching up to take someone’s hand when you have fallen and more).
The illustrations will also bring up emotions and feelings as they tell the story but also are just fun images. They are complex in simplicity and simple in their complexity. They are bright and pop. They have shade when needed and the right amount of details.
And while there is a political message (and a few images have an obvious political message), it is child friendly. The theme is just a story about enjoyment. The text is short and the message equally short, but still powerful.