BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak

Kissing HandIt’s no wonder that this kiddie classic by longtime DC-area local Audrey Penn has sold some 4.5 million copies! I can proudly say I’ve added more than a few copies to that total, as it’s one of those incredibly appropriate stories for an experience that every parent and child must go through … learning to let go, oh gasp!

Young Chester is growing up and he’s supposed to start school … but he’s rather just stay home with Mommy. Mrs. Raccoon gently eases the prospect of separation by teaching Chester about the Kissing Hand: she bestows a kiss right in the middle of his little hand and explains, “‘whenever you feel lonely and need a little loving from home, just press your hand to your cheek and think, ‘Mommy loves you. Mommy loves you.’ And that very kiss will jump to your face and fill you with toasty warm thoughts.'”

That young Chester is one smart cookie, too! Assured his mother’s love will follow him everywhere – even to school – he makes sure to give his mother her own Kissing Hand before he turns and dances away …

The Kissing Hand apparently isn’t for just young kiddies anymore either … big kids leaving for camp or college and soldiers going off to war are some of the more recent Kissing Hand ambassadors. Kissing Hand stickers apparently have been turning up on the helmets of American soldier in Iraq … WOW. And a heavy, heavy SIGH indeed.

Readers: Children

Published: 1993, 2006 (new edition)

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