“The Kissing Hand” By Audrey Penn; Tanglewood Press, unpaged
Mother’s Day is just around the corner. I’ve been thinking a lot about what book would be a good selection to celebrate all things mom. There are many topics to choose from -- parenting guides for first-time moms, inspirational mother and child stories, psychological aspects of motherhood -- but none of these subjects had the jewel I was looking for. And then it hit me. Of all the wonderful experiences I’ve had with my mom, some of the best were when I was a little girl and she would read to me. There was something special about getting tucked into bed and hearing my mom’s voice read out loud from one of the treasures hand-picked at the library. I had my favorite titles, of course, but mostly I wanted to hear and read along with my mom. Those are priceless memories for me, and I have no doubt that her love of reading and our frequent trips together to the local library influenced me to become a librarian.
If “The Kissing Hand” had been available when I was little, I know that both my mom and I would have fallen in love with it. This is the story of a raccoon named Chester who is nervous about going to kindergarten. His mom reassures him by kissing the palm of his hand and telling him that now he has a “kissing hand.” Whenever he’s scared or lonely, he can place his palm against his cheek and know that everything will be all right. As any mom knows, the first day of school is an anxious time for both child and parent. So when Chester gives his mom a kissing hand, too, the book turns into a gentle, comforting tale.
Don’t forget to honor your mom in some way this Mother’s Day. Whether you bring her flowers, take her to dinner or perhaps decide to give her a “kissing hand,” the most important thing is to let her know how much she means to you. Here’s to you, Mom!
Jan Johnston is the Collection Development Coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She blogs at youbetterreadnow.blogspot.com.