By Audrey Penn, illustrated by Barbara Gibson and Nancy M Leak. (Tanglewood Press)
Chester Raccoon doesn’t want to go to school. He wants to stay at home with his mom, and play with his toys, and swing on his swing… He asks his mom: ‘Please may I stay home with you?’
His mom answers: ‘Sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do. Even if they seem strange and scary at first. But you will love school once you start. You will even swing on new swings…’ Then she tells hims she knows a wonderful secret passed down to her by her mother and Chester stops crying. She tells him how the kiss she gives him on his palm will travel up into his heart and fill him with her love and warmth. ‘Now whenever you feel lonely, and you need a little loving from home, just press your hand to your cheek and think, “Mommy loves you, mommy loves you” and that kiss will jump from your palm to your cheek and fill you with love.’ Ah, so beautiful. Chester then has an idea and he shows her how he can share the love too.
First published in 1993, this is a very special classic to share with any child experiencing separation anxiety going to nursery school, starting a new school, going away or braving any new challenge. Also available in board book adaptation for toddlers, as A Kissing Hand for Chester Raccoon. We love the Story Online reading by actress Barabara Bain.