If you have pre-schoolers or very young elementary school children, you need to have this book.
There are a lot of picture books published every year, but to hit on one that will stand the test of time and be sold generation after generation, is a rare book, and one every writer is hoping for. I believe that Audrey Penn found that with The Kissing Hand.
Young Chester Raccoon is nervous about leaving the safety of home to go to school. To reassure him that all is okay, his mother kisses the palm of his hand and tells him that whenever he feels lonely to hold his hand to his cheek and he’ll be reminded of the warmth of her love.
This is simple and beautiful and I’ve never known anyone to regret owning this. My wife and I read the book and used the idea with our own children for many years and still do it on rare occasions. It gets a groan from our nearly-adult teenagers, but you can see that it holds meaning to them.
The artwork is simple and charming and a perfect fit for the book. Slightly stylized, it is often bright and full of friendly creatures in the raccoon world. It is just the sort of art that a youngster enjoys seeing, over and over, during the repetitive readings.
Looking for a good book? If you have children or grand-children, this will be one of the books on your shelf, and you should own it proudly and read it often.
* * * * * *
The Kissing Hand
author: Audrey Penn
artists: Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak
series: Chester the Raccoon #1
publisher: Tanglewood Press
hardcover, 32 pages