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A Pocket Full of Kisses Hardcover – June, 2004

38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1 - A sequel to Penn's The Kissing Hand (CWLA, 1993). A young raccoon pleads with his mother to "return" his baby brother due to typical sibling offenses. When Chester sees her give little Ronny a "Kissing Hand" (a kiss in the middle of his open palm), the waterworks begin. Of course, Mrs. Raccoon reassures her older son of his continuing importance to her, adding a bonus Kissing Hand for being a big brother. The animals' emotions are clearly expressed in the narrative. Gibson's crisp, realistic paintings are colorful and depict the scenery and activity of the meadow. Although this book is more appealing than the first work, standbys like Ann Herbert Scott's On Mother's Lap (Clarion, 1992) or Kady MacDonald Denton's Would They Love a Lion? (Larousse, 1998) are still better choices. - Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. The Kissing Hand (1995), though too sweet for many tastes, has developed such a following that many libraries cannot fill the demand each year before the start of school. This sequel is also quite sweet, but those who love the original may want to read the new story about Chester Raccoon. Now beyond his kindergarten separation anxiety, Chester has a new problem: dealing with his younger brother, who plays with his toys, pulls his tail, follows him around, and even shares his mother's gift of a "Kissing Hand" (Mom kisses Chester's palm, and Chester can transfer the kiss to his cheek whenever he needs comfort). Chester's mother reassures him that she will never run out of Kissing Hands. In fact, she has a spare for Chester to give his brother when he needs a big brother's care. Teeming with details, Gibson's paintings depict an idyllic woodland populated with friendly beasts, birds, and bugs that seem to pause and take an interest in the raccoons' conversations. The focus of the artwork, as well as the story, is clearly on the loving mother-and-child relationship. Recommended for libraries in which the earlier book has a following. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Child and Family Press (June 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878688943
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878688944
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,803,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I started my first career as a ballerina dancing with the National Ballet, New York City Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, and the Danny Diamond Dance Theatre. I also served as alignist and choreographer for the U.S Figure Skating Team in preparation for the Pan American Games (1973), and for the 1976 Olympic Gymnastics team. In 1980 I became too ill with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) to continue dancing. Because I had done a lot of children's theatre and children's dance, and I have always enjoyed children's literature, I turned to writing children's books for my creative outlet.


But my writing career actually began much earlier than 1980. When I was a young girl, I had two older brothers who took great joy in teasing me.

When I was in the fourth grade, I began keeping journals of the silly things they would say and do. Then I began adding things my pets did. Finally, I began to write down everything I saw and heard every day.

When I was in my early twenties, my mother found my journals and I turned the stories into my first book called, Happy Apple Told Me. But, I learned a very hard lesson writing that first book. I learned that you don't just write a book; you rewrite, and rewrite, and rewrite, and rewrite a book. Thirty years later, I am still learning.

My passionate advocacy for children continually molds my writing style and subject matter. I have taken my one-woman educational program, The Writing Penn, into schools, libraries, and children's hospitals, where I shape and refine my story ideas in partnership with kids.


My favorite part about being a children's author is meeting my readers when I speak at a school or at a store. I get so many wonderful ideas from you, and you, and you. So, thank you for your inspired ideas, and letters, and emails. Now, it's your turn to keep a journal.

I live with my husband, my youngest daughter (who inspired The Kissing Hand), and two dogs in Olney, Maryland. We have three children and one foster child.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on December 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Chester Raccoon has a problem. His younger brother Ronny plays on Chester's swings, talks to Chester's friends, and follows Chester wherever Chester goes. When Chester complains about all this, his mother explains with gentle understanding that Ronny is only doing what little brother do and gives Chester a reassuring kiss in the middle of his palm to assure him of his mother's love. The Chester sees Ronny also gets their mother a kiss on the hand. Chester is simply overwhelmed at the unfairness of it all and tears roll down his cheek. Mother Raccoon allays Chester's fears with her own special kind of wisdom and finds just the right way to let Chester know how deeply he is loved. Charmingly written by Audrey Penn and superbly illustrated by Barbara Leonard Gibson, A Pocket Full Of Kisses is a wonderful picturebook that deftly explores the feelings of young children when their families expand with siblings and they feel unsure of their new and changing rolls. Enthusiastically recommended!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J T Cooper on June 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
As a book reviewer for Funseeker's Radio Network I come across a lot of delightful children's book, but this one has to be in the top ten. A mother raccoon has two cubs, with Chester being the older. His mother gives him a kiss in his hand, a "kissing hand" and he is delighted, until he sees her give one to his baby brother. His mother lets him know that he is loved just as much as his brother and that she has enough love for both of them. The illustrations by Barbara Leonard Gibson are some of the best I have seen and remind me of Harry, my own pet raccoon I had when I was younger. This book needs to be bought in pairs, one for the adult buying it and one or more for the children who will love the story and the message it gives.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. K. Rose on May 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
When I first picked up this book, I was skeptical. Like most parents, I figured my 2 1/2 year old would tire of this book easily. But as I read it, the feelings of love that I have for my own two sons came to mind. I use it to teach a lesson about Love. As a mother, I never run out of kisses, hugs, affection--Love--for my two sons (or anyone else in our lives), but rather there is enough for all. I think that's a great lesson for kids to learn: that sharing is not competitive and there is room for all. I adore this book and my littlest one insists that I kiss his hand every night before he cuddles up with his bear. It's a very beautiful lesson very gracefully presented.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary Lavers (in Canada) on May 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A follow up to The Kissing Hand, Audrey Penn's A Pocket Full of Kisses has Chester Raccoon working through feelings of jealousy when he becomes a big brother. My two-year-old demographic of one, Magda, didn't like this one quite as much as The Kissing Hand, but that may be because she has her own opinions about whether or not she'd like to be a big sister!

For more, please visit my blog, CozyLittleBookJournal.

Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from the publisher from NetGalley. I was not obliged to write a favourable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marcia M. Diaz on January 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is great especially if you have siblings in the household. Very touching story.
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Format: Hardcover
[This review is also published on Andi's Kids Books.]

A Pocket Full of Kisses is the sequel to the phenomenal hit The Kissing Hand. Chester Raccoon now has a baby brother named Ronny. While Ronny was kind of fun for a while, now he keeps getting into all of Chester's things. Chester wants to give him back, but Mommy wants to keep him. To make matters worse, Mom gives Ronny the Kissing Hand. Chester is convinced that his mom doesn't really love him anymore. She reassures him that each of them have their very own Kissing Hand and that she loves both of them the same. Chester fears that she will run out, now that they are doubled. She tells him that just as the sky will never run out of stars, she will never run out of Kissing Hands. For added measure, she gives him an extra one that he can put into his pocket.

Children can relate to this book, especially if they have younger siblings. Those babies sure are cute when they first arrive. But then they start taking attention away and later get into the older one's things. Older siblings start to feel like they are less loved because now they need to share Mom and Dad's affection and time. Parents need to reassure children that they are still loved, even if there are more children. In fact, there is even more love in the family now, because there are more people to share it.

Parents can read A Pocket Full of Kisses with their children and then follow up with discussion about how much they love all of their kids. They can even create or reinforce their own Kissing Hand routines.

Children love the Chester Raccoon character, and will also often go for this book at the library or in the classroom.
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By G. Blankenship on July 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful sequel to The Kissing Hand where our little friend Chester's family has been blessed by a new addition. The problem is that Chester isn't so enamored with little Ronny anymore now that he plays with his toys, follows him around and pulls Chester's tail. Mom tries to explain that Ronny just wants to be like him and that is what little brothers do. However mom sees that Chester is in need of some extra TLC and offers him the kissing hand, which makes it all better, until Chester sees Ronny get one as well. Suddenly Chester is concerned that mom will run out of kisses which prompts mom to let him know in a very special way that moms never run out of love for all of their children.

This book was brought into my home soon after the birth of my second child, and has stood the test of time with the addition of two more children. The tender way in which mom reassures Chester rather than just brushing his fears and concerns away is heartwarming. The way that she makes sure that Chester "really" get it that she will never run out of love for both him and his brother is great. Many children get concerned that they may not be loved as much with the new addition to a family and this book goes a long way towards calming those fears as well as teaching that big brother, or sister, is someone to look up to. They are a person that their sibling wants to imitate.

Again the illustrations are beautiful and the pages have just enough words to get the point across to a toddler or preschooler without so many that they get bored with the page. There is a perfect balance between interest in the illustration and the story.
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