Monday, August 15, 2011

The Kissing Hand

I love children's books.  A lot.  My mom was an elementary school librarian, and instilled a love of reading in me at a young age.  She and I spent countless hours reading together, which is something I am so grateful for. She was really great at reading a book, then creating a fun activity to tie the story back into real life.  I love it when  a book comes "alive" this way.  In her library, she loved doing this with her students.  She always made reading exciting.  Making these literary connections is something I try to do with my girls, and so this week, I thought I'd highlight five books that my girls enjoy reading over and over again, as well as an activity or two to go along with them.  Enjoy!
The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn is a sweet story perfect for any child experiencing a bit of nerves before starting school or facing any difficult circumstance.  In the book, Chester the raccoon is feeling anxious about going to kindergarten.  He wants to "stay home with his mom, play with his friends, play with his toys, read his books and swing on his swing."  Chester's mother gently reassures him that he will make new friends, and read new books and swing on new swings.  Then she tells him the secret of The Kissing Hand.  She explains that she learned this secret from her mother, and it is something very special.  Then she leans over, opens Chester's hand, and kisses it right in the middle of his palm.  Chester feels him mother's kiss rush straight to his heart and he starts to feel a little better. Mrs. Raccoon tells her son that anytime he feels lonely to place his hand on his cheek and her kiss will be right there reminding him that Mommy loves him.  In the end, Chester feels confident to go to school.

So last week, I had two little girls feeling a bit anxious about starting first grade.  Especially one named Hannah.  For some reason, she was just feeling worried.  So we pulled out The Kissing Hand and read it again.  And I gave each girl a big kiss in the palm of their hands.  Hannah immediately placed her hand on her cheek and said, "It's working!" 

Reading Connection: Trace your child's hand on a piece of paper, cut it out, then go find your bright red lipstick (you know you have some), pucker up and place a big kiss right in the middle of the palm.  Then write a little note of encouragement on the back and place the hand in your child's backpack or lunchbox.  Or just let them carry it around.  What a cute little reminder of how much you love them! You could always follow this activity up by eating a handful of Hershey Kisses too.  :)
 

4 comments:

Susan S said...

I love Hannah's response, "It's working!"

affectioknit said...

That is one of my very favorite books...Scout's too (years ago)...

Have a lovely day!

Jacquelyn said...

So sweet!

Maria Rose said...

I really must get this book.