The Kissing Hand

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Kissing Hand
Author Audrey Penn
Illustrator Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak
Country United States
Language English
Genre Children's literature
Publisher Child Welfare League of America
Publication date
1993
Media type Print (hardback)
Pages 32 pp (first edition)
Followed by A Pocket Full of Kisses

The Kissing Hand is an American children's picture book written by Audrey Penn and illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak. It features a mother raccoon comforting a child raccoon by kissing its paw. First published by the Child Welfare League of America in 1993, it has been used "to reassure children upset by separation anxiety."[1]

Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children."[2] It was one of the "Top 100 Picture Books" of all time in a 2012 poll by School Library Journal.[3] It has been translated into at least five languages and has been followed by five sequels. 5657

Background[edit]

On a train ride in Wheaton, Maryland, Penn witnessed a ritual in which a mother raccoon placed its nose on a baby raccoon's paw, and then the baby raccoon placed its paw on its own face.[1][4] The park ranger said that the purpose of the ritual was to transfer scent from the mother to the baby so that the baby could recall the mother's scent by bringing its paw to its face.[1] Penn "started a similar ritual with her daughter — kissing her hand and telling her that whenever she was homesick, she could put her hand to her face."[1]

Penn wrote The Kissing Hand based on the raccoons' ritual. Penn read the book at VSA arts, and Jean Kennedy Smith wrote the book's foreword.[4]

Summary[edit]

Chester is a young raccoon who is nervous about going to school.[4] His mother kisses his center palm and tells him that "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.'"[4] Chester is comforted and goes to school.

Reception[edit]

In 1994 the book received a negative review in the School Library Journal, which considered it "marketing" for the Child Welfare League of America, with a "didactic story" and low-quality illustrations.[5] Nevertheless, in 1998 Scholastic Corporation published a paperback version which became one of its "biggest, most popular best sellers."[1]

The American Library Association recommended the book after the September 11 attacks of 2001.[1] In 2004, the United States Army purchased 14,000 copies of the book for soldiers stationed abroad to read on video and transmit the video to their families at home.[1]

It was ranked #49 in a 2007 online poll by the National Education Association of "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children."[2] It was ranked #95 in a list of "Top 100 Picture Books" of all time in a 2012 poll by School Library Journal.[3][6]

Editions and translations[edit]

  • Penn, Audrey (1993). The kissing hand. Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America. ISBN 0878685855.  (hardcover)
  • Penn, Audrey (1998). The kissing hand. New York: Scholastic. ISBN 0590047019.  (paperback)
  • Penn, Audrey (1998). The kissing hand. New York: Scholastic. ISBN 0590375679.  (cassette tape and paperback)
  • Penn, Audrey (2001). Un beso en mi mano (in Spanish). Washington, DC: Child & Family Press. ISBN 0878688226. 
  • Penn, Audrey (2004). The Kissing Hand. Livonia, MI: Seedlings Braille Books for Children. ISBN 0590047019. OCLC 138422234.  (Braille)
  • Penn, Audrey (2007). The kissing hand. Terre Haute, IN: Tanglewood Audio. ISBN 9781933718101.  (CD and paperback)
  • Penn, Audrey (2007). Le bisou secret (in French). Toronto: Éditions Scholastic. ISBN 9780545998345. 
  • Penn, Audrey (2007). 魔法親親 / Mo fa qin qin (in Chinese). Taibei: Shang yi wen hua shi ye gu fen you xian gong si. ISBN 9789577624444. 
  • Penn, Audrey (2007). The kissing hand: キスのおまじない (in Japanese). Tōkyō: Ashietto Fujin Gahōsha. ISBN 9784573080096. 
  • Penn, Audrey (2011). دستى که بوسه مى ذند / Dastī kih būsah mi zand (in Persian). Tihrān: Man va Kīmiya. ISBN 9789642360307. 

Sequels[edit]

  • Penn, Audrey (2004). A pocket full of kisses. Washington, DC: Child & Family Press. ISBN 0878688943. 
  • Penn, Audrey (2007). A kiss goodbye. Terre Haute, IN: Tanglewood Press. ISBN 9781933718040. 
  • Penn, Audrey (2008). Chester Raccoon and the big bad bully. Terre Haute, IN: Tanglewood Press. ISBN 9781933718156. 
  • Penn, Audrey (2009). Chester Raccoon and the acorn full of memories. Terre Haute, IN: Tanglewood Press. ISBN 9781933718293. 
  • Penn, Audrey (2010). A bedtime kiss for Chester Raccoon. Terre Haute, IN: Tanglewood Press. ISBN 9781933718521. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Blais, Jacqueline (September 29, 2004). "Army reaches out to 'Kissing Hand'". USA Today. Retrieved August 26, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b National Education Association (2007). "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Bird, Elizabeth (July 6, 2012). "Top 100 Picture Books Poll Results". School Library Journal "A Fuse #8 Production" blog. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d Hinds, Mary Hancock (July 18, 1994). "Nature gives a `Hand'". Washington Times. 
  5. ^ Rees, JoAnn (August 1994). "Penn, Audrey. The Kissing Hand (review)". School Library Journal. 40 (8): 142. 
  6. ^ Bird, Elizabeth (May 16, 2012). "Top 100 Picture Books #95: The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn". School Library Journal "A Fuse #8 Production" blog. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 

External links[edit]