cover image How About a Kiss for Me?

How About a Kiss for Me?

Todd Tarpley, illus. by Liza Woodruff, Dutton, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-42235

A bold boy with unruly blond hair, mismatched shoes, and dirty overalls sets out to share his kisses with creatures big and small, funny and fluffy, scaly and stinky. As the boy meets these animals, his father questions whether they are kissable ("Do you like to kiss a bunny?"), occasionally supplying answers in rhyme ("Kiss a bunny? That is funny"). The puckering protagonist's kissing encounters become increasingly outlandish, beginning with dogs and cows, progressing to skunks and snakes, and eventually considering worms, toes, a mop, and a cactus ("Do you like to kiss a cactus?/ That would take a lot of practice"). Visually, the boy's father remains off-page until the final pages, when he is seen tucking his son into bed and making the essential point of the story: "There's nothing I would rather do/ than be someone who's kissed by you." Together with Woodruff's (the Lindy Blues series) bright and delicately outlined watercolor illustrations, debut author Tarpley's sweetly silly story is, like kissing, suitable for any time of day. Up to age 2. (June)