Review Blog

Dec 06 2019

No more kisses! by Rebecca McGregor

cover image

Illus. by Olivia Godbee. Little Steps, 2019. ISBN: 9781925839401.
(Age: 4+) Themes: Touching, Kissing, Comfort, Family, Likes and dislikes. When Sam turns five, he declares that he is past the kissing stage: those hairy, air born or smoochy kisses, hair ruffles, chicken pecks or snogs, cheek scrapes or snotty kisses, nuzzles or wet, sloppy bone breath licks. All of these will never lighten his cheek again, ever. He is adamant and tells everyone so, drawing attention to his declaration with signs, sky writing, bill boards and notes on his door.
Readers will love attaching the style of kiss to the kiss planter: Grandma with her sticky lipstick kisses, the dog with the bone breath lick, Mum with a smooch, nuzzles from the aunts and cheek scrapes from the uncles. Air kisses and hair ruffles get a mention which will be recognised by many readers as things they do not like.
Funny illustrations show Sam in situations where these kisses are given, and will be instantly recognised as places to be avoided by the readers.
But towards the end of the story something happens which makes Sam change his mind for now, and places him in a situation where hugs and kisses are acceptable, even wanted.
A neat story of childhood, of growing up and therefore growing out of some behaviours seen as childish, this story will enable children to talk about behaviour that belongs at home or in the classroom, or in the playground, seeing a difference between what is acceptable in one place but not the other.
Kids will get a thrill out of listing all the names they can find for kisses, and attaching these names to the person who gives it.
Fran Knight

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