About The Book

A black mother expresses the many hopes and dreams she has for her child in this powerful picture book masterpiece that’s perfect for gift-giving.

When you are a newborn,
I hold your hand and study your face.
I cradle you as you drift to sleep.
But I know that I will not always
hold your hand;
not the older you get.
Then, I will hold you in my heart
And hope that God holds you in his hands.

About The Author

Photograph © Carole Boston Weatherford

Carole Boston Weatherford has written many award-winning books for children, including Caldecott Honor winners Freedom in Congo SquareVoice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement; and Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom. Her recent books include By and ByThe Roots of RapBe a KingHow Sweet the SoundIn Your Hands, and The Legendary Miss Lena Horne. Carole lives in North Carolina. Visit her at CBWeatherford.com.

About The Illustrator

Photograph © Christine Simmons

Brian Pinkney has illustrated numerous acclaimed books for children, including Martin RisingIn Your Hands; On the Ball; The Faithful Friend; Duke Ellington; and In the Time of the Drums. His many awards include two Caldecott Honors, a Coretta Scott King Illustration Award, four Coretta Scott King Illustration Honors, and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award. Brian lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and frequent collaborator, Andrea Davis Pinkney. Visit him at BrianPinkney.net.

Raves and Reviews

* “The moving, poetic text . . . offers both love and reassurance for children and a way to explore some difficult social issues. Pinkney’s striking, loose illustrations in watercolor and gouache use a palette of pastel greens and blues. . . .  Insightful, poignant, groundbreaking—and a reminder that the lives of all children are also in our hands.”

– Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW, June 15, 2017

* “An exceptional gift to black families, with important underlying messages of our times. . . . Best shared one-on-one with a loved one.”

– School Library Journal, Starred Review, July 2017

* “Pinkney uses sweeping, expressive ink lines and radiant washes of color to create both an impressionistic mood and poignant immediacy. For all its beauty and lyricism, Weatherford’s book doesn’t equivocate. Because for children like Omari, the stakes are as high as their mothers’ love is deep.”

– Publishers Weekly, Starred Review, July 17, 2017

* “A heartfelt monologue . . . [with] luminous artwork . . . this picture book will move many readers, including adults, with its lyrical yet powerful words and art.”

– Booklist, Starred Review, August 1, 2017

“The pictures of a young black boy growing to adolescence and adulthood and the power of the mother’s prayer . . . make it one that may well transcend early readings to become a book to return to as a child becomes a man.”

– The Horn Book, September/October 2017

Awards and Honors

  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children's Book Council)

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this author: Carole Boston Weatherford

More books from this illustrator: Brian Pinkney