Monday, March 28, 2011

A Pocket Full of Kisses: Audrey Penn & Barbara Leonard Gibson

This is only one in a series of books about a raccoon named Chester that I will read and review. A Pocketful of Kisses is the sequel to The Kissing Hand, which I haven't had the pleasure of reading, however, I see no reason why this tale can't stand on its own.

Chester is a very very good little raccoon whose family has just expanded to include a baby brother. Chester asks his mother if they can send him back, but his mother says it's simply not possible to send a baby back. To reassure him, Chester's mother gives him a special kiss on the palm of his hand that lights up his heart. Chester is filled with his mother's love, until he watches mother give the same kind of kiss to his baby brother, Ronny. What a racket Chester makes! In his saddest voice, he asks if his mother doesn't love him anymore. Mother quickly seizes her opportunity to teach both of her children about how much love a mother has. She tells the story of the sun, that touches every star with it's rays, lighting up each and every star, even when we can't see them. Chester's mom let's him know that she has enough love for him and his brother, but she also acknowledges that maybe he deserves a little something extra for being the big brother. So Chester receives a special kiss that he can put in his pocket, to carry with him.

I absolutely loved this storybook! It is so true that mothers have a special kind of love that seems bottomless. A mother can give her love to all of her children and never run out. And dear Chester is a familiar character to anyone with siblings--or anyone who has ever felt jealousy! We so often want to feel that the love we receive is special and more meaningful. I am sure that children learning how to be a big brother or sister would benefit from hearing this story.

As for the illustrations, I am in love. Gibson has such a talented hand, and has brought this little raccoon family alive. Except she doesn't just draw the raccoons, she also illustrates the wilderness they live in, with other animals, trees, and plants. The picture of the night sky over the valley, with the geese flying across the sunset is absolutely breathtaking. I would own this book as adult, if only for the illustrations!

Rating: $$$

ARC received courtesy of Tanglewood

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