Delgado’s exuberant illustrations perfectly embody the spirit of “lover boy” Johnny/Juanito, an affectionate child who is always ready with a kiss for those he loves—his daddy, his momma, his teacher and especially his grandmother, who receives the full measure of ten.
The kisses, increasing in number from one to ten, fly across the page like balloons with strings attached. Some go by mail, to a friend in Hawaii; others are spurned by Beatriz, whom he loves unrequitedly—they get popped by her dog or fall hopelessly to the ground—or by his big sister, who sticks out her tongue as Johnny parcels out only a “little tiny one.” The characters’ exaggerated round cheeks and big eyes resemble the faces of dolls and will feel immediately familiar and welcoming to preschoolers and the youngest readers. The author of the recent adult title Ringside Seat to a Revolution (2005) offers a fluid Spanish version of the text.
A winning story of love of family and friends. (Picture book. 2-7)