cover image Plant a Kiss

Plant a Kiss

Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illus. by Peter H. Reynolds. Harper, $14.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-198675-8

In what may be a first, Rosenthal and Reynolds demonstrate the benefits of sharing kisses far and wide—without showing a single person-to-person kiss. Rosenthal’s (Duck! Rabbit!) verse is stripped down to the bone, yet retains a singsong nursery rhyme quality, while Reynolds (Someday) illustrates in his signature lithe, clean-lined style. After “Little Miss planted a kiss”—she digs a hole and kisses the soil—the girl waters her planting and waits, at first patiently, and then with “doubt” and a “pout.” At last her kiss sprouts, and a swirling fountain of polka dots and glitter emerges. Carrying her shimmering kisses in a bowl, the girl shares them generously with others until her supply is depleted. She gets a lovely surprise when she returns to her garden and sees a geyser of kisses rising from the ground, more vivid and sparkly than ever. The punchy rhymes and abstract visualization of kisses keep things from feeling too heavy-handed or saccharine; Rosenthal and Reynolds’s collaboration should leave readers considering the rewards of simple gestures. Agent: Amy Rennert Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Pippin Properties. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)