Review Blog

Feb 09 2016

Kiss it better by Smriti Prasadam-Halls

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Ill. by Sarah Massini. Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408845639
(Ages: 2-6) Recommended. This book is a joyous celebration of how kisses can make everything better. It is filled with visual symbols of love; there are hearts on every page and lots of physical affection by way of hugs and kisses. The text tells and shows us all the times when a kiss can heal ('when you're down in the dumps', 'if you've scraped your knee') and of all the things that kisses can say ('I love you so much', 'can we be friends?', 'I'll miss you'). The author gives different types of kisses fun names that children and their parents will love adopting into their own vernacular; there are be-brave kisses, cheer-up kisses and go-to-sleep kisses that shout monsters, shoo! The warm, slightly retro illustrations have a wonderful texture, particularly in the patterned clothing worn by the animals, and their soft warmth helps to capture the comfort that kisses can bring. The family of bears used in the illustrations add to this feel with their rounded, soft and cuddly style. The rhyming text flows beautifully in most places. It ends by reminding young readers that 'sometimes grown-ups need kisses, too!' and that 'EVERYTHING feels better with the help of a kiss!' This is a joy to read aloud and the illustrations are divine. It is an uplifting tale with a simple message for young and old about how we have the ability to comfort those we love with a kiss as well as being a reminder to parents that the most important thing they can give to their children is love. It also provides a vocabulary for parents to help their children vocalise how they are feeling and what they need to feel better.
Nicole Nelson

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