Book title and Author(s): The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, Ruth E. Harper, and Nancy M. Leak
Introduce the book (Genre and age range): This is a picture book for Kindergarten-aged students
Summary: Chester is a young raccoon getting ready for his first day of school. He tells his mother that he is scared and nervous about going to his school. His mother knows how to keep him safe and happy at school: a secret given to her by her mother and to her mother by her grandmother and so on. The secret is known as The Kissing Hand. The mother kisses Chester’s hand and tells him that if he opens his hand, and places it on his face, he’ll feel his mother there and know that she loves him. He places his hand onto his face and immediately feels his mother rush throughout his body. She tells him not to worry about accidentally washing it off during school, it’ll stick to his hand.He then feels ready to go to school. Right before going, he asks his mother to hold out her hand. As she does, he kisses her hand and tells her that he loves her. He then goes to school.
Favorite Part: My favorite part had to be the ending of the story. I had been read this book, back in Kindergarten, however, I had forgotten that Chester kisses his mother’s hand too. It is such a beautiful moment in the story, accompanied by the artwork, and it honestly made me tear up as I finished the book.
Recommendation: I would absolutely recommend this book to be read by or to children. I think the visuals are phenomenal. Even if the students do not know how to read yet, or they are not being read the story at the moment, they can still understand what happens in the story. That is all thanks to the visuals which says a lot about its quality as a picture book and as a book in general. I also think the message is an important one for a Kindergarten student. This could very well be their first year as a student, ever, and when that is the case, it can be very scary, experiencing something new, without your parent or parents around. I think it gives two powerful messages. First, your parent or guardian loves you. Second, they will always be with you, even when you feel as though they are not and you are all alone.