Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Kiss Goodbye: Audrey Penn & Barbara L. Gibson

Another volume in the Chester Raccoon series, A Kiss Goodbye illustrates the challenges of moving to a new home. Any kid who has had to leave their home, friends, and school, knows how hard it is to get comfortable with change.

Chester announces that he's not moving. He wants to stay in his tree with his friends, where he's always lived. When Chester's mother encourages him to think of it as an adventure, Chester recounts the many adventures he's had that did not go well. When Chester continues to resist, his mother points out that their home tree and many of the surrounding trees have been marked to be cut down for wood, and if Chester stays, he will be all alone because the other animals are leaving, too. When Chester begrudgingly agrees to move with his mother and Ronny, he spends some time saying goodbye to his home. At their new home, Chester meets someone new to befriend, proving that moving really can be an adventure.

I was so hopeful for this story. Penn dances around the issue of clear-cutting and the devastation that deforestation leaves behind. I know that this story is about the adventure of leaving home, and not a social criticism, but I felt like there was so much potential for this lovable forest animal to do a little more teaching.

I was also disappointed in Gibson's art this time. The illustrations felt a little more cartoonish than the other Chester books. They're still very bright and colorful, but I just wasn't in love with the art this time.

Rating: $$

ARC received courtesy of Tanglewood

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