Kiss Kiss

Selma Mandine, Author, Selma Mandine, Illustrator, Michelle Williams, Translator , trans. from the French by Michelle Williams. Random/Golden $9.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-375-86431-5

A small boy explains to his raptly attentive teddy bear that “[t]here are many kinds of kisses, and they're all different.” But whether a kiss is “supersoft, like cuddly wool,” prickly like a cactus (courtesy of his father's stubble), or wet (if it's delivered by Rex, the boy's dog), it's a “really wonderful” experience—especially because they tend to come in groups. The text in Mandine's U.S. debut is sweet if unmemorable; the main draw is the endearingly spheroid characters, who bring to mind the cast of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and other classic Rankin-Bass TV specials (the boy's grandfather, whose fluffy “cotton candy” beard covers an entire spread, could easily double for the stop-motion Santa). Their doll-like adorableness transforms what would otherwise be a pedestrian book into one wholly capable of sneaking its way into readers' hearts. Ages 3–7. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 11/30/2009
Release date: 12/01/2009
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 32 pages - 978-0-375-96431-2
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