I Will Kiss You (Lots & Lots & Lots!)

Stoo Hample, Author
Stoo Hample, Author . Candlewick $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-2787-4
Reviewed on: 12/05/2005
Release date: 01/01/2006
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A mother bunny catalogues all the opportunities a day offers for planting a smooch on her bright-eyed toddler. In one of the more humorous scenes, the mother says, "I'll kiss you when we're at the zoo,/ looking at a grumpy gnu," as the little bunny looks at the scowling horned critter with alarm. When bath time rolls around, the mother announces, "I will kiss you on your toes/ when you're naked with no clothes/ and your tiny tushy shows." The subject matter is a sure winner (what toddler isn't tickled by the prospects of a kissing cascade from Mom?) but Hample's execution falls short. Many of the rhymes feel half-baked or a tad overwrought ("I will kiss you on your hat,/ also when you're on a mat,/ tumbling like an acrobat"), and reflect more of a parent's perspective than a child's. The simplistic watercolor and ink illustrations, rendered in pallid oranges, pinks and grays unfortunately reflect little of the retro charm of his classic The Silly Book (originally published in 1961 and reissued last year). Here's hoping that with his next book, Hample finds his way back to inspired silliness. All ages. (Jan.)

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