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The Kissing Hand

(Chester the Raccoon #1)

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  64,333 ratings  ·  1,844 reviews
School is starting in the forest, but Chester Raccoon does not want to go. To help ease Chester's fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary. Since its first publication in 1993, this heartwarming book has become a children's classic that has touched the lives of million ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 15th 1993 by Tanglewood (first published January 1st 1993)
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Caitlin Chapman It is one of my favorites; growing up as a child.
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Average rating 4.41  · 
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 ·  64,333 ratings  ·  1,844 reviews

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Sweet story about growing pains and missing those we love. Chester doesn't want to go to school, he will miss his mother. It's a great idea that the mother comes up with. She kisses his hand and tells him the kiss will stick all day. Wonderful idea. You carry the energy of that love with you all day and it's a reminder that we can all do that.

I remember school felt long as a child. It felt like it would never end. I think this would have been comforting if I had known about it. The kids here lov
Mar 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book was a special favorite of my daughter, Sarah. For several months, I read this to her almost every night, often kissing her hand to say goodnight. Even now, my eyes are misty thinking of those wonderful evenings and how tiny Sarah was.

The best books are those that have wonderful memories attached to them.
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Kissing Hand” is another wonderful, well-known children's story I discovered. Audrey Penn was a ballerina, Olympic figure-skating choreographer, and theatre actress who needed a new creative outlet, when arthritis halted dancing and skating. Also in Maryland is Nancy Marie Morton Leaks, one of this book's artists. She has a husband, four children, and spiritual leanings. The second illustrator hails from England. A glance at any Ruth E. Harper profile shows she is hilarious! Even better, sh ...more
Duchess Nicole
May 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Duchess Nicole by: KatLynne
Beautiful story for preschoolers and young school age children. A wonderful sentiment set to ease a child's fear about being away from his/her parents and home. My girls are 7, 9, and 10, and they all loved it! Thanks for the rec, KatLynne! ...more
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a children's book. I love the message in this book, and this book shows the love that a mother as for their child. This is one of my twin boys favorite book, so I have read this book to him a lot. One of my boys told me there was a book they have to get at the book fair, and this was the book. I had to buy him and his teacher a copy of this book. I love this book a lot. ...more
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
Sep 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Lisa (not getting friends updates) by: Chandra
This is a sweet story with gorgeous illustrations.

The premise is that the love between those we love and those who love us doesn’t go away even when we’re not in their presence.

This could be a helpful book for children starting school or going through any sort of separation from loved ones.

Unfortunately, the children who need it the most are unlikely to get much solace from this book and the children who already feel secure and loved will enjoy this, and it might be useful for them, but they do
Feb 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful, touching story about how we always hold the love of those closest to us, even when we cannot see them. I adore the idea of the "kissing hand" and, though this book may have become a bit "commercialized" with the accompanying stickers, the heart of the tale is pure and one that I think many children (and adults) can relate to. ...more
This is such a cute book! i love the concept of how his mom will always be there with him if he misses her he can just put his palm on his cheek and he will feel better. The book also shows how children will mimic or model after the people around them like how chester gave his mom a kissing hand too. I wish my mother did something like this when i had anxieties of going to school. :)
Mary Johnson
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book has been a savior in my house. My 4 year son does not want to go to preschool, and this book has helped tremendously with tear free drop offs. Chester is a little raccoon that does not want to leave his mother to go to school. In a nutshell she kisses his hand and tells him she will be with him. And being the cry at anything mother I am, at the end of the book I was choking back tears as he tells her the same thing. My son's preschool teacher has made a stuffed Chester the class pet an ...more
Brittney Daniel
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book can be used for many ways inside the classroom such as first day jitters, a new child and family joining the center or a child who is having a hard time coming back from vacation. They will know that their caregiver is always with them when they need it.
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very sweet children’s book. It tells the tale of a little critter who is scared and nervous about going to school for the first time. His mom allays his fears by telling him that she’ll always be with him if he’s scared, through the magic of the kissing hand.
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
Back when I was five years old, I never wanted summer to end. I wish my grandma had read this book to me before she took me to school on my first day to make me feel better. My best friend’s mother recommended this book to me as one she used to read to her own children and the message within the storyline continues to resonate around her entire family.

Audrey Penn’s ‘The Kissing Hand’ deals with the issue of separation anxiety many children face when starting school as this is often the first
Pam Torres
May 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I loved the Kissing Hand. The watercolor illustrations are incredible, just the right amount of detail and still maintain the free flowing beauty of the medium. The story, while simple has a definite story arc which keeps the pages turning. Children should adore this book, reminiscent of How Much Do You Love Me.
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite child hood stories!
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Reassuring First Day of School Stories for Young Children
Chester Raccoon is reluctant to attend his first night of school in this sweet reassurance tale from storyteller Audrey Penn, first published by the Child & Family Press, an imprint on The Child Welfare League of America. His mother, understanding his fears, promises that he will love school, and shares a long-standing family secret with him: the Kissing Hand. Kissing his palm, she informs him that now he will carry the kiss with him, and will have it whenever he needs it. Buoyed up with this ev ...more
Sep 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My last baby recently started Kindergarten. I have been through this twice before with his older brothers, however being the last one, his starting Kindergarten had a profound effect on me.

I read The Kissing Hand to him the weekend before school started. He has been going to daycare since he was 6 weeks old, so I think that this book was more for me than it was for him. By now, he seems to have no problem leaving me for the day.

The story is about a little raccoon that is going off to school but
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-25-stars
4.25 Stars Wow, I had to look up what "Mawkish" meant because it was used in a review on this book on Goodreads. It means "sentimental in a feeble or sickly way." and "saccharine" (like fake sugar) which mean "excessively sweet or sentimental.

Well I disagree. Isn't it nice that we can all have our opinions.

I almost, yes ALMOST gave this a 5 star. I still my beating heart, but I going with a solid 4 1/4 stars.

The artwork IS ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. This is my type of illustrations to a
Jodie Greene
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
This is an anthropomorphic picture book. This book is about a raccoon that is going to school for the first time. His mother tells him of a secret called the kissing hand. His mother kisses his palm, then she closes his hand and he takes her love to school with him.

This filled with beautiful illustrations. The pictures do a great job of setting the environment because the one big difference in raccoons going to school is that they are nocturnal so they go to school at night.

I love this book on
Sep 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Typically I shy away from these syrupy kind of books but I have to admit I like this one.

I detest the thought of sending my kids off to be in the hands of someone that might possibly think that they are anything less than brilliant, wildly creative, hilarious and compassionate. And I really detest the thought of them having any moments of missing home or me.

When I see kids at the school I work at cry, I ache with wondering how my own kids are doing at their school and these silly little ritual
Nia King
Jun 19, 2014 added it
Shelves: love, support
This book is a great way to support B-5 students who are new to the classroom. The Kissing Hand allows students to feel comfortable leaving their parents knowing they'll have their love to comfort them. I could incorporate this book on the first day of school and reapply this gesture throughout the school year. This not only helps the students, but the parents can also benefit from the kissing hand knowing their child's love can make them warm inside. ...more
Chiix Moses
Jun 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Separation anxiety is something nearly all children will experience to some extent when starting school, daycare, or even going to their first sleep over. That's where this book comes into play. I like this book because it is a simple, yet efficient way to help young children with this problem. The kissing hand is an easily relatable and also easy to imitate book. I can easily see teachers using this book on the first day of school to make students feel more comfortable in their new env
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
After reading this book the first thing I thought about was my mom. I real to this book because my mom is all the way in Guam while I'm here going to college. I think this story is awesome for kids who have trouble separating from their parents. It taught me that even though I'm far away from my parents, they're still with me in my heart. Although this is a fantasy book, it reminds children that it's okay to be scared or nervous to start something new in their life.

In the paratext of the story
Madeline Natzke
Apr 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: being-brave
I just read this book for the first time. It touched my heart and I thought it was such a heartfelt children's story. Chester is scared to leave his mother and attend school. So I would use this book in the begining of the school year when some of you class is having a hard time leaving their family. Its a great way to share a bond with your class, while showing them that other feel the way you can. Using animals instead of humans catches the children's attention, while still letting them relate ...more
Shakeema Gabriel
Jun 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is very sweet. I would tell my parents to read this book to their children before school starts. This book shows how brave the mother is when her child goes off to school as well as her child being brave when he goes off to school. Maybe the parents could give their child a kiss jn their hands and that could be a way to cope for the first day of school.
I was never that impressed by this book before I became a parent. I find the illustrations and the story a little saccharine. However, my toddler has been experiencing some major separation anxiety lately, and this book really comes into its own in that regard! It's lovely for big or small separations and for easing those transitions.

Notes on representation: The characters are all animals.
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a sweet story! As little Raccoon gets ready to go to school for the first time, he is worried about missing his mother and all the familiar things he loves. But his mother shows him that he can embrace new experiences and still have her love with him the whole time.
Asalyn Holliday
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: family, abc, feelings
I think this book would be great to read on the first day of school for children who are having trouble being away from their parents. It reminds me of a student I had who always cried when his mom dropped him off and took awhile to warm up. I think that this book would have been helpful for him.
Rashanda Ravenel
I really enjoyed that this book incorporated night creatures/nocturnal life. The moon was very bright and beautiful, shining its light on the owl, raccoon and other night creatures. This story would be great for making children feel better about leaving loved ones to go to school.
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read this book and it's follow up, A Pocketful of Kisses, with Junior. It quickly became a favorite read. He also wanted a kissing hand. Once I filled his hand with kisses, he insisted on filling mine. When he came home from school he would tell me if he was low on kisses. This was a highlight for me. Touch does not come easy to Junior. Neither do great shows of affection. It is just part of his autism. That he wanted kisses on his palm thrilled me. That he wanted to give them - well I don't h ...more
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