cover image Mama's Kiss

Mama's Kiss

Jane Yolen, , illus. by Daniel Baxter. . Chronicle/Handprint, $14.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-6683-5

Although the title suggests sentimentality, that notion disappears with the first look inside this snappy square-format book. Yolen's jaunty rhymes are short and sweet; debut illustrator Baxter's droll, cartoonlike pictures practically jump from page to page. Mama's kiss, shown as a winged pair of lips, is first tossed across the bedroom at her daughter, but misses and “sails off toward Baby Brother. Baby burps, the kiss goes wide,/ Through the window and outside./ Catches Dog upon the nose.” Subsequently traveling through the neighborhood, transferred from creature to creature, including a family of bears, the kiss eventually lands on a runner “jogging home to help his wife,/ The one he's loved for his whole life”—Mama. The traditional poetic meter creates a reassuring effect, and both words and pictures deliver plenty of giggles. Ages 3–6. (Dec.)