Saturday, December 3, 2016

"A Kissing Hand for Chester Raccoon" - a bookwrap


Authored by Audrey Penn

Illustrated by Barbara L. Gibson 

Ages  2-4

Unwrapping some amazing illustrations for 

About the book...

This is one of my most favourite books of all times.   From the first moment I read it to my kindergarten class until this very day it still resonates deeply inside of me.  This charming, condensed board book version of the best-selling picture book, "The Kissing Hand" will once again bind hearts together as little ones head off to school.

Chester is very anxious about attending Owl School (because racoons are nocturnal it will be night classes) and leaving his beloved mother's side at home.  He bargains with her to be able to stay:

"Chester Raccoon was very sad.
He looked at his mommy and cried.

"I don't want to go to school," he said.
"I want to stay home by your side."

He tells her he will read his books, play with his friends and favourite toys and won't make very much noise.  Mrs. Raccoon sees the anguish on in her little one's heart and on his face and right then and there she shares a wonderful secret that is sure to ease the pain of his separation anxiety from her.

She opens up the palm of Chester's hand and plants a kiss.  Her kiss seems electrically charged and it travels from his tiny palm, up his arm and straight into his heart.  

"With a Kissing Hand," said Chester's mom,
We'll never be apart."

"Just press your hand upon your cheek
And feel the loving glow.
It's Mommy saying, 'I love you,'
Wherever you may go."

You can see by now this sweet book is written in rhyme and is a perfect read aloud as you both snuggle together. It has language simple enough to be memorized and tucked in your little one's heart forever.  This meaningful gesture and words can then be called forth when needed most... when mommy who is far away and unreachable.  Her loving implanted kiss will be the perfect antidote for the overwhelming feelings of missing her.  

About the author...

I started my first career as a ballerina dancing with the National Ballet, New York City Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, and the Danny Diamond Dance Theatre. I also served as alignist and choreographer for the U.S Figure Skating Team in preparation for the Pan American Games (1973), and for the 1976 Olympic Gymnastics team. In 1980 I became too ill with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) to continue dancing. Because I had done a lot of children’s theatre and children’s dance, and I have always enjoyed children’s literature, I turned to writing children’s books for my creative outlet.
But my writing career actually began much earlier than 1980. When I was a young girl, I had two older brothers who took great joy in teasing me.
When I was in the fourth grade, I began keeping journals of the silly things they would say and do. Then I began adding things my pets did. Finally, I began to write down everything I saw and heard every day

My passionate advocacy for children continually molds my writing style and subject matter. I have taken my one-woman educational program, The Writing Penn, into schools, libraries, and children’s hospitals, where I shape and refine my story ideas in partnership with kids.
My favorite part about being a children’s author is meeting my readers when I speak at a school or at a store. I get so many wonderful ideas from you, and you, and you. So, thank you for your inspired ideas, and letters, and emails. Now, it’s your turn to keep a journal.
I live with my husband, my youngest daughter (who inspired The Kissing Hand ), and two dogs in Olney, Maryland. We have three children and one foster child.

About the illustrator...

An award winning illustrator, Barbara has been a free-lance artist in the Baltimore-Washington area for twenty five years.  Originally from New York and with a degree in Fine Art and Design from Carnegie Mellon University, she hs worked extensively in many areas including historical illustration, children's books and magazines, cartooning, portraiture, wildlife illustrations, natural sciences, advertising, fantasy and science fiction.  

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It's a wrap.
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