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ZERO KISSES FOR ME by Manuela Monari Kirkus Star


by Manuela Monari & illustrated by Virginie Soumagnac

Pub Date: Nov. 9th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-77049-208-0
Publisher: Tundra

A little one goes on strike against kisses. It seems that mama, and indeed the whole family, inflicts torture constantly with pet names like honeybunch, flower bud, tootsy-wootsy and other yuckiness. To add insult to injury, all this mush is accompanied by multiple kisses. But that night in the dark, scary room, it takes mama’s kisses to make everything all right. Monari’s slight tale of a little child with big-kid ambitions is spot on the mark. Told mostly in a loving dialogue between mother and child, the language and syntax are true to life and utterly believable. Soumagnac’s cartoon-style illustrations are a perfect match. The characters are generic creatures that variously resemble koalas, cats and other cuddly animals. The protagonist’s grimaces and slouches are hilarious and leave no doubt about the complete undesirability of kisses. Heavy black lines and blocks of solid colors in a palette of reds, pinks, greens, browns and oranges make everything pop, especially the little flying hearts that symbolize the repulsive smooches. This is a sit-on-your-lap, kiss-and-hug read-aloud. (Picture book. 3-7)