Monday, March 28, 2011

The Kissing Hand: Audrey Penn & Ruth E. Harper & Nancy M. Leak

Having read the sequel, I was compelled to go back and read the first book in the Chester series, The Kissing Hand. This is the book that started it all...

Chester the raccoon is nervous. He has never been to school and he's scared. He would much rather stay home with his mother. Chester's kind, compassionate, and understanding mother gently encourages him, telling Chester that he will love school once he gets started. She gives Chester something very special to take with him so that he never forgets how much he's loved. Chester's mother gives him a kiss right in the middle of his palm, and tells him that when he puts it to his cheek, he will be able to hear her whisper "Mommy loves you." Chester is so happy to have his mother's reassurance that he is able to dance off to school.

Penn's storybooks about Chester are so sweet! Chester is such a sweet little raccoon with such human emotions that we can all relate to. Everyone has had to face something new that they may have been nervous or scared about, and children are no exception. Chester is an example of the kind of love and support that every child needs, but unfortunately, not every child receives. Something as simply magical as a kiss on the palm can instill confidence and encourage a child to face their day, knowing they are loved.

I have to say, having read the sequel, A Pocketful of Kisses first, I am sorry to report that the illustrations in The Kissing Hand are nice, but not quite as wonderful. Chester and his mother make for very tender drawings, but the forest didn't seem as vibrant as it is in Pocketful.

Rating: $$.5

ARC received courtesy of Tanglewood

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