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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Thursday, Friday 10 am - 4 pm
  • Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

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Visit the carle


Picture Books We Love

What Will These Hands Make?

Interior illustration of papercut hands arranging the words ?What Will These Hands Make??

Hi, it’s Eliza from The Carle Bookshop. I’ve always loved the art of making things with my own two hands, whether it’s sewing, woodworking, ceramics or baking. With so much time spent in our homes right now, it’s the perfect time to explore what we can make ourselves! Nikki McClure’s newest picture book, What Will These Hands Make?  (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2020), inspires us to celebrate how things are made and the community of talented people who make them.

Interior illustration of family preparing for a birthday party

With sparse text and stunningly detailed papercut illustrations, Nikki McClure, leads us through a family’s preparation for a birthday party and all the handmade details throughout their day – from the food they eat, the gifts they give, or even the knit caps on their heads to keep them warm. 

 Interior illustration of a town and a river filled with a diverse group of talented makers and craftspeople

As the family gets ready for the party, they head into town to get supplies. You could spend hours poring over the detailed double-page spread that shows their journey from the white house in the top left corner all the way across the page to the bakery with the big, white cake on the right. The steps in between each location and the lovingly made items they pass, all pay homage to the makers in their community – the gardeners and the boat builders; the basket makers and the potters; the furniture makers and the book binders. 

Interior illustration of a town center filled with shops selling handmade goods

When the guests arrive at the house for the party, they bring with them all their unique handmade contributions and gifts, and the story ends in an exuberant celebration of community and creativity. 

Interior illustration of a party with cake, music and many people bringing handmade gifts

Nikki McClure uses her hands, her talent with paper and an x-acto knife, to create these illustrations, and to write these poetic words. But she also acknowledges that it is a community of hands - the editors, the art directors, the publishers, the marketers, the booksellers - who all make it possible to get this book to you.  A love story to collaboration and creativity, this book is the reminder we need to celebrate the diverse talents of the makers around us, and the inspiration we need to embrace our own.

What will your hands make?






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