The Kissing Hand
by Audrey Penn, illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M Leak
The Kissing Hand is an excellent book to read before the first day of school to children who are apprehensive about the beginning of the school year, even if it is not their first year of school. It is a very sweet story of Chester, a boy raccoon, who does not want to go to school. When he says he wants to stay home and play with friends, read books, and swing on the swing, his mother tells him he will do all those things at school. There is a special small moment part of the story where his mother gives him a kissing hand. The kissing hand is that she kisses his palm and tells him when he presses his palm to his cheek he will have good feelings. She tells him it is an old secret. My favorite line in the book is: “Chester felt his mother’s kiss rush from his hand, up his arm, and into his heart.”
Being a raccoon, Chester leaves his mother to attend school at night! The illustrations are beautiful and meaningful. Even children who are not afraid of school will enjoy this story.
My free PDF could be used as class activity or one on one with a school phobic child. I taught first grade and the adjustment can be difficult for children. Perhaps a school social worker who has time could sit down with just one child and discuss school fears using some of these page. free-the-kissing-hand-work-and-color-pages, 8 page PDF (Photos below, licensed clip art). While coloring, the parent or teacher could keep up a calm discussion.