The members of a diverse neighborhood enjoy giving and receiving kisses all year long.
A young child with very light brown skin addresses readers directly on the first page, telling them, “I love kisses. I’ll bet that you do too!”; a pale-skinned child with black hair concludes the book, saying, “But the very best kisses are the ones I get from you.” In between, the illustrations show all sorts of people sharing busses. Parents and children, friends, family members, and pets kiss in all sorts of places, at all times of day, and in all sorts of situations. There are kisses for when you’re found during hide-and-seek, drooly baby-brother busses, smooches for when you’ve fallen or been stung by a bee, blown kisses after a family gathering, and ones to begin and end the day. Every brief verse ends with the word “kisses,” and the rhyming text has a bouncy rhythm, though the meter is sometimes off: “ ‘ I’m sorry that you’re sad!’ kisses / Mom can’t stay mad kisses.” The illustrations, done with digital media, are both a strength and a weakness. They neatly show a huge range of diversity in skin tone and family makeup, including two dads with a baby and a mixed-race family. One girl uses a wheelchair. However, the odd absence of puckered lips means that none of the smooches look real.
Children should experience all these kisses and more, hopefully with full puckers, though. (Picture book. 3-7)