My best friend and I always lament late summer when we're reminded of 'back to school.' As kids (and now, too, of course!) we both loved summer so much and it was always a bit sad when ads would come on TV reminding us of the impending doom...just kidding, it really wasn't that bad. Although I still switch the radio station when that horrible Staples ad played to the tune of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" comes on. So while school hasn't quite started back here yet I thought it might be a good opportunity to look at a book that suits this time of year.
The Kissing Hand (Tanglewood Press, June 2006), written by Audrey Penn and illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak, is a great book for kids just starting kindergarten or even those first days of playschool. Chester Raccoon is about to start school for the first time and he's having a tough time dealing with leaving his mum, his home and his friends. His mum tells him about the exciting new things he'll get to do at school. Then she tells him a secret: the Kissing Hand. She shows him how to open his left palm out so she can kiss it. Chester immediately feels the love radiate from his hand. Mrs. Raccoon then explains that whenever Chester feels lonely all he has to do is press his palm to his cheek and remember that she loves him. Chester knows that wherever he goes his mother's love will always be with him.
With sweetly drawn illustrations, this book is bound to have you teary eyed...especially if you have a little one just starting school or about to encounter some other new experience away from Mummy or Daddy.