Thursday, May 11, 2017

Chester Racoon and the Almost Perfect Sleepover - a bookwrap


"Chester Raccoon and the Almost Perfect Sleepover"

Authored by Audrey Penn
Illustrated by Barbara L. Gibson

Ages: 3-7
Grade Level: PS-3
Series: The Kissing Hand Series

What reviewers are saying

“A title that offers reassurance to young ones eager to attend their first sleepover.”
—School Library Journal

“Present[s] a familiar childhood dilemma without shaming.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“A resolution that should reassure timid readers who aren’t always as brave or independent as they would like to be.”

—Publishers Weekly

Unwrapping some brilliant illustrations for you

About the book

I love this series.  It is so heartwarming and every mother on the planet can identify with the deep bond of love that continually flows between a mother and her little one no matter what the physical distance.  

Chester has been invited to a sleepover at his friend Pepper Opossum's tree across the river.  Unfortunately Chester, being a raccoon, is nocturnal so he is going for an "overday."  His mother assures Chester that he will be picked up the moment the sun sets, nuzzles his ears and plants a gentle kiss right in the middle of his palm, her famous Kissing Hand signature which makes him feel safe and connected to her.  He squeezes her fingers and feels her love and warmth flow into him.  He's now ready to independently go on his first dayover ever. Or is he?

She delivers him safely and he and his friends spend the day freely exploring, playing games and having great fun together.  They hang by their tails over a tree limb, they toss darts made from porcupine quills and acorns, they splash and skip rocks into the creek.  All the while Sassafrass Skunk adds humour and fragrance to the tale as he emits "stinky puffs" throughout all the adventures.  Finally the little ones have to confess that they are pooped and need to go back to Pepper's hollow and have a sleep.  Everyone agrees to the plan and back they go. They yawn and find the perfect spot to curl up and drift off... everyone that is... except Chester.

His eyes are big and round like saucers. He looks around and he sees everyone unconscious and that's when anxiety moves in.  Chester presses his mother's Kissing Hand to his cheek but it isn't powerful enough to overcome his feelings of being separated from her.  

He misses his little brother, he misses his mother, he misses his own hollow which is his alone.  Suddenly Chester becomes terribly homesick.  Wise Mrs. Opossom sensing his discomfort and uneasiness quietly whispers to him if he would like to go home.  He answers yes he would.  Her kind neighbour rabbit escorts the sad little raccoon back to his mother where he is greeted with a big warm hug the comforting words that she missed him too and he is always welcome at home.

The illustrations are absolutely brilliant.  I cannot recommend this series enough.  It is one that tugs at the heartstrings and never let go.  Highly, highly recommended.

Storywraps rating...  5 HUGS+++++!!!!!

About the author

Audrey Penn takes her one-woman educational program, the Writing Penn, into schools, libraries, and children’s hospitals where she shapes and refines her story ideas in partnership with kids. She is also highly sought after as a conference keynote speaker by groups of teachers and other professionals who work with children.

About the Illustrator

An award-winning illustrator, Barbara Leonard Gibson has been a freelance 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 has worked in many areas including historical illustration, children’s books, and magazines, cartooning, portraiture, wildlife illustration, natural sciences, advertising, fantasy, and science fiction.

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