REVIEW: The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn


18419Title: The Kissing Hand
Author: Audrey Penn
Year of Publication: 1993
Genre: Childrens
Format: Ebook
Length: 32 pages
First Line: “Chestor raccoon stood at the edge of the forest and cried.”

Summary: School is starting in the forest, but Chester Raccoon does not want to go. To help ease Chester’s fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary. Since its first publication in 1993, this heartwarming book has become a children’s classic that has touched the lives of millions of children and their parents, especially at times of separation, whether starting school, entering daycare, or going to camp. It is widely used by kindergarten teachers on the first day of school. Stickers at the back will help children and their parents keep their Kissing Hand alive.

Review: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

My mother-in-law, an educator, introduced me to THE KISSING HAND not too long ago when I was helping out with her school’s first book fair. She said it was a great and popular book. I nodded, thought it had a weird title, but shoved it in the back of my mind. When I saw that it was available to request on Net Galley I totally snatched it up.

The premise of the book is simple. Chestor doesn’t want to go to school, so his mom kisses his hand, saying that if he misses her to touch his hand and remember how much she loves him, etc.

I wish my parents had known about this book when I was a kid and going through my bad crying fits when I got to school everyday. I think this book would be a good solution for many kids going through separation anxiety or who have trouble going to somewhere new.

The last picture of ‘I love you’ in sign language made me smile because me and my mother used to sign ‘I love you’ to each other all the time when I was little.

However, I would not recommend reading THE KISSING HAND on an ereader. I read my copy on my Kindle Paperwhite and it did not look very flattering. Though in black and white, I could still tell that the illustrations were detailed and great. But once I saw the same pictures in color it really didn’t compare. Sometimes, the awkward formatting of this picture book to ebook makes a sidebar picture take up the whole page, or there could be a large illustration with only a couple words on the screen. It’s odd to read. I think the original hardback or paperback versions would be the preferred format for this title.

I worry slightly that some kids will find this book creepy because of its tone (think of LOVE YOU, FOREVER). I also worry that some kids will look silly, wiping their ‘kissing hands’ on their face. Of course THE KISSING HAND won’t work on all kids either, I highly doubt this method would have worked on my husband when he was child. But that is for the parent to decide and it is also about trial and error.

Worst part: Reading this on an e-reader.

Best part: It was sweet. Nice source for parents who have children dealing with separation anxiety.

Grade: B

Recommend For: Parents of children who are having issues with separation anxiety.

Other Books by This Author: Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully and Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories

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