A mother’s kiss has been known to solve all sorts of things, but when the kiss blows away on the wind before it can land on the cheek of its intended, the world as a child knows it can come crashing down around their little ears (or in this case, cheeks). That’s just what happens in author Deborah Diesen’s latest picture book, Catch a Kiss.
In the story, adorable little Izzie loves it when Mama smooches her fingertips and blows a kiss for Izzie to catch. The kisses land everywhere, from the tip of Izzie’s nose to the crook of her elbow to the tip of her ear. But one kiss gets lost when Mama blows it just as a big gust of wind swoops past, and Izzie becomes frantic with worry about how she can retrieve it.
Typical of children ages 4 to 8 that the book targets, Izzie becomes obsessed with retrieving what she has lost—so much so that she cannot even enjoy the other good things happening around her. She jumps up into the air, flaps her arms and reaches for the clouds, but she is unable to retrieve the kiss, and she seems convinced that she will never be happy again. Until her ever-resourceful Mama tells her a big secret about how kisses find their way to their intended.
The subject of this book – a mother’s kiss getting caught in the wind – is not new in the world of picture books, but Ms. Diesen still managed to emphasize just how important each mother’s kiss is to her child, and how devastated and empty their world would be without it. Ms. Diesen short and simple prose emphasizes the deep and unbreakable bond of a mother’s love, the security and warmth of her arms, and the boundless imagination of the child chasing her kisses as they flutter on the breeze.
Artist Kris Aro McLeod’s illustrations leave readers with a warm and fuzzy feeling nside. She uses soft and luscious pastels and adorns every page with lush green foliage, glorious blooms, fluttering butterflies, and flowers that dip and sway in the breeze as Izzy chases her mother’s kiss. Izzy and her mother have striking multicultural features, thick, curly hair, and enough love for each other to last a lifetime. Their facial expressions are striking, too, Mama’s plump, pooched lips as she blows her kisses to Izzy’s crinkled eyes as she feels a kiss land on the dimple in her cheek to Mama holding a distraught Izzy in her arms as she explains the secret of kisses.
Great for special bonding between mother and daughter, and perfect for upcoming Mother’s Day.