#PPBF/ Hands of the Maya

Hi Friends!


Another Friday, one of my favorite days. And today is Friday the thirteenth!! Do any of you believe in bad luck today? But tomorrow is really the one I love. I LOVE Saturdays and the weekends and I know I”m not alone in that. Here is today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday. Enjoy your weekend everyone!


Hands of the Maya book cover_Title: Hands of the Maya

Author/ Illustrator:  Rachel Crandell

Publisher Info: Henry Holt and Company, LLC/ nonfiction/ 2002

Ages appropriate for: All ages

First Three Sentences : Every day in a Maya Village there is work to do. Nicolasa is up early. Her tender hands keep her baby son warm and safe.

Resources:  Here is a link for several kits for kids to learn about Mayan culture and also coloring books.

For older students here is a PBS recommended link of learning about Mayan culture through art.

For those interested in learning about the high life of Mayan culture here is a transcript of a movie from PBS.

And here is how to make your own petroglyph :

Summary from Jacket: Experience  a day in the life of Maya villagers. The wisdom of the phrase “Many hands make light work” comes in vivid detail, as the community prepares a warm meal, weaves clothing, makes roofs, and creates art and music. Best of all, in the morning and at the end of a busy day, a pair of strong, gentle hands never seem hard to find. With it’s lyrical prose and  richly textured photographs, this engaging picture book captures the hard work, love, and respect of the Maya culture.


Why I Love this book : Like so many nonfiction picture books this has a hefty front matter explaining in adult language why, who, what, where, and when the book was written. In this case the author/photographer,   Rachel Crandell, and elementary school teacher, lived in a Maya village in Belize and learned many of the daily activities just like they do in the book. She photographed the people at work and gave it a kid slant, thinking readers would appreciate how things are done in a remote village. where we do everything by the push of a button, even corn is removed by hand to make maize for flour for tortilla for breakfast. The elementary school girl student carried firewood from the forest for her mother’s wood stove that she cooks three meals on and so on. Not so different from our Native American’s in early history.


A very frank and no nonsense look at how things are still done today in a Maya village.


Here are some links for my writer friends :

Author publish has given us a publisher open to unsolicited manuscripts of fantasy and science fiction. http://www.authorspublish.com/daw-is-open-to-manuscript-submissions/


For one I found helpful in revision though I’m not there yet here is one to read about it. http://positivewriter.com/tighten-your-writing/


For writer friends who would like to see my amazon/author page go here: amazon.com/author/clarabowmanjahn


And for more picture book fun, as my friend Stacy Jensen says:

To find more PPBF books, visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog

As my friend Penny Klostermann says:

Oh! And while you’re checking things out, head on over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s place and check out all the fantastic Perfect Picture Book Selections! Each book is reviewed by a picture book -lovin’ reviewer, AND includes activities to go along with the book. You will find a handy list right HERE.

Come back on Tuesday and read about Crime Mystery Author Annette Dasofy’s author journey in Part two of my interview with her.


I can’t let you go without looking at this wonderful logo Margot Finke made me.

You can buy my books on Amazon , For Edmund, click here:

For Annie, Click here:

My Picture Books in logo by Margot Finke

My Picture Books in logo by Margot Finke




About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
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21 Responses to #PPBF/ Hands of the Maya

  1. Cathy Ballou Mealey says:

    Oh Belize sounds like a lovely spot to visit as I look at six foot high snowbanks in front of my house! Nice PPBF choice Clar.

    Liked by 1 person

    • clarbojahn says:

      Oh you poor thing! The snow has mostly missed us here in Northern VA. Just below Maryland. But we are getting some of that arctic air now. Yes, Belize does sound nice. 🙂


  2. This looks like a great book for sharing culture. And for “warm-place” dreaming for those of us stuck in the snow. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have always been interested in the Mayan culture. This sounds like a real gem! I would enjoy this book! Great pick today.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Neat book – the photos look awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hadn’t heard of this one. Thanks for the review and the helpful link on tightening up writing.


  6. I love books of different cultures and this sounds lovely and has beautiful pictures. I loved South America. Maybe we will visit Central America one day. Thanks for sharing, Clar.

    Liked by 1 person

    • clarbojahn says:

      Maybe we can visit it together, Diane! I’d love to see the countries my ESOL students come from. Although they are escaping poverty and violence. What would we see then? Not that. 🙂


  7. Wendy says:

    I think kids would love this! Things they think of as being “old” are actually alive and embraced in other cultures. And I want to go somewhere warm too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Heather Dent says:

    I like the looks of this one! Mayan culture has always interested me.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow. This is a cool book. And I loved your links. I’m focusing on nf right now, so this moves near the top of the list. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Andrea Mack says:

    What a lovely book! My students would be very interested.


  12. Oh! I think my readers would really like this one!! They like learning about other cultures. I’ll have to check this one out! Thanks ms BJ!


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