Rissy No Kissies

Katey Howes, illus. by Jess Engle. Carolrhoda, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5415-9798-3
Rissy, a gumdrop-shaped lovebird painted in a yellow-green gradient, is seen as an anomaly for repeatedly refusing the kisses of her affectionate neighbors, family, and friends, which make her feel “worried, weird, and wrong.” Rissy wonders if she will ever find belonging if she can’t accept others’ smooches, until her mother imparts a valuable truth: “Your body and your heart are yours, and you choose how to share./ You get to pick the ways you want to show us that you care.” Howes’s experience with neurodiverse people informs this sprightly rhyming narrative; a refrain (“No kissies!”) and soft watercolor art by Engle reinforce the message that speaking up for one’s bodily agency should always be embraced. Back matter includes a note to kids and one for caretakers. Ages 7–8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 02/10/2021
Release date: 03/02/2021
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 32 pages - 978-1-7284-1739-4
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