The Kissing Hand books

Each of the books in the Kissing Hand Series is a heart-warming and wonderfully illustrated story in which Mrs. Raccoon shares her wisdom and love with little Chester. I never intended for The Kissing Hand to become a series, but spending time with children continues to give me more to write about. And they are more than good picture books. They offer a starting point for a discussion between the child and parent. For the sake of the young audience, they do not offer complicated or multiple solutions for any particular issue. I hope that every parent would use the opportunity these books present to talk to their child and help them to find an approach that best fits their particular situation.

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

The Kissing Hand

School is starting in the forest, but Chester Raccoon does not want to go. To help ease Chester's fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary.

The Kissing Hand, an internationally renowned children's book, addresses separation anxiety and is a great resource at the beginning of the school year, or in any situation where a child must separate from parents. It has been used extensively in elementary schools, hospice, and by the U.S. military when deploying troops overseas.

I stumbled on the idea for The Kissing Hand after an encounter in a local park with an unusually large mother raccoon and her newborn cub. It was after my experience with my own daughter going off to kindergarten that I developed the story as a book.

Now available:
On CD
As a hardcover Big Book
Chester Racoon is now available as a puppet and a plush toy!

Interior images (click to see larger)

The Kissing Hand Interior Page Art
The Kissing Hand Interior Page Art
The Kissing Hand Interior Page Art

Other language editions (click to see larger)

The Kissing Hand/Un Beso en mi Mano by Audrey Penn
Spanish (U.S.)
The Kissing Hand/Le bisou secret by Audrey Penn
French (Canada)
The Kissing Hand in Japanese by Audrey Penn
Japan
The Kissing Hand in Koreanby Audrey Penn
Korea
The Kissing Hand in Braille by Audrey Penn
Braille (U.S.)
The Kissing Hand in Chinese by Audrey Penn
China

A Pocket Full of Kisses by Audrey Penn

A Pocket Full of Kisses

Mrs. Raccoon helps Chester to cope with the changes he experiences, as well as his emotions when his new baby brother is introduced into their family dynamic.

After spending an afternoon with my great-niece and great-nephew, this topic jumped out at me as a possible Kissing Hand book. A Pocket Full of Kisses looks at sibling rivalry, the feelings a child experiences when a new young sibling enters the family.

Reviews

“Teeming with details, Gibson's paintings depict an idyllic woodland populated with friendly beasts, birds, and bugs that seem to pause and take an interest in the raccoons' conversations. The focus of the artwork, as well as the story, is clearly on the loving mother-and-child relationship.”—Booklist

“Penn understands the powerful pull of old-fashioned sentiment.”—Publishers Weekly

Interior images (click to see larger)

Other language editions
(click to see larger)

A Pocket Full of Kisses Interior Page Art A Pocket Full of Kisses Interior Page Art A Pocket Full of Kisses in Korean by Audrey Penn
Korea

A Kiss Goodbye by Audrey Penn

A Kiss Goodbye

Chester Raccoon learns that they must leave their tree den and move to a different part of the forest. Mrs. Raccoon must help Chester through his sadness and reluctance in accepting a new home and school.

I had the opportunity to attend a conference with the Military Child and Family Network during a project where a parent was recorded on video reading The Kissing Hand for their child before being deployed overseas. During our discussions, they mentioned that they could use a book to ease the difficulties encountered with having to move every few years, as is the situation for so many people in the armed services. Shortly after our discussion, I visited a school near a large navy base in Virginia, and I asked the children how many of them had ever had to move. I was stunned in grade after grade when nearly every hand went up. I wrote A Kiss Goodbye to help with this transition - for times when any kind of move is made, i.e., to another house, another city, or even at the end of a school year when children must transition to the next grade.

A Kiss Goodbye Interior Page Art
Interior image (click to see larger)
A Kiss Goodbye in Korean
Korea (click to see larger)

Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully by Audrey Penn

Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully

Mrs. Raccoon helps Chester and his friends to approach the bully who has just entered his school.

Seemingly an epidemic these days in schools, in the neighborhood, and especially online now, we need to teach children how to handle a bully. Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully addresses this issue in an affective, creative manner that is appropriate for the age group it is written for.

Now available on CD!

Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully Interior Page Art
Interior image (click to see larger)
Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully in French
France (click to see larger)

Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories by Audrey Penn

Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories

Mrs. Raccoon must help Chester to understand what it means when his friend, Skiddil Squirrel, does not return to school after having an accident. To ease his sadness at the loss of his friend, she teaches Chester how to keep the time he spent with his friend fresh in his thoughts by creating a memory.

I was asked to write a story for children about losing a loved one several decades ago by a rabbi. He wanted something on a child's level that he could leave with families in this difficult time. It proved to be a difficult book to write, as every religion has a different belief surrounding the death of a community member. The common link is the gathering of the community after the death of a member to remember who this person was to them. I finally chose not to write about death, but to write about remembering a loved one who has passed away. Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories has thus far received rave reviews, and has been the subject of many grateful emails I've received to date. The loss of a loved one is a difficult topic to address, especially with children. I hope this helps.

Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories Interior Page Art
Interior image (click to see larger)
Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories Interior Page Art
Interior image (click to see larger)

A Bedtime Kiss for Chester Raccoon by Audrey Penn

A Bedtime Kiss for Chester Raccoon

After many requests, I have written my first board book for small children. Mrs. Raccoon soothes Chester's fears arising from the scary images he creates from the sunspots and shadows in his room.

ACTIVITIES:
Make a game of seeing things in shadows, emphasizing things that are not scary. This activity can also be expanded to include clouds, etc.


A Color Game for Chester Raccoon by Audrey Penn

A Color Game for Chester Raccoon

Something to occupy busy, active minds while developing our most necessary skill: awareness. This is also a technique to support a child in transitioning from one situation to another.

ACTIVITIES:
Help your child learn this game by keeping the order of the colors correct and consistent. The game can be played everywhere, anywhere, anytime, and with anyone, continually building awareness skills. The important thing is to begin in a place that is familiar to your child. By doing so, in addition to giving your child something to occupy his time, he will take with him a sense of familiarity even when he is somewhere he has never been before, helping to reduce his anxiety in a new situation. By seeking out objects with colors in their specific order, he will feel just a bit more at home.


Chester the Brave by Audrey Penn

Chester the Brave















Though they are not Kissing Hand Books, look at these works addressing additional childhood issues and topics:
Sassafras addresses self-esteem
A.D.D. Not B.A.D. discusses Attention Deficit Disorder and hyperactivity
Feathers and Fur addresses diversity and kindness

There are many sources for INFORMATION ON LIFE ISSUES FOR CHILDREN. PLEASE CHECK THESE OUT:
Jacqueline Golding
Dr. Jeff


How to order Audrey Penn's books

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