The Kiss Boxby Bonnie Verburg, Henry Cole
A reassuring story about separation and love
In this soothing love story between mother and child, Mama Bear offers various vessels to contain their love while they are apart--but none seem right. It's not until Little Bear suggests that they make each other a Kiss Box--filled with a hundred kisses--that they are able to stay connected--no matter where they are.… See more details below
A reassuring story about separation and love
In this soothing love story between mother and child, Mama Bear offers various vessels to contain their love while they are apart--but none seem right. It's not until Little Bear suggests that they make each other a Kiss Box--filled with a hundred kisses--that they are able to stay connected--no matter where they are.
Whether it be an errand to the grocery store, a business trip, or the first day of school, this is a tender reminder that we are always together where it matters most: in our hearts.
This Little Bear isn\u2019t the same one made famous by Else Holmelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak, nor is he Martin Waddell\u2019s Little Bear, but he is certainly of the same ilk as those beloved characters. Similar in tone and theme to Minarik\u2019s classic series, this is for slightly younger readers, and it is a bit simpler with a briefer text. The focus here is on Little Bear and Mama Bear and their upcoming separation (Mama Bear must go out for the afternoon). Softly colored pencil-and-watercolor illustrations portray bucolic, quotidian scenes: Mama Bear pushing Little Bear on a swing, the two fishing together, a picnic in a field. Throughout, Mama Bear reassures Little Bear: \u201c\u2018I will think about you all the time,\u2019 said his mama, \u2018no matter where I am or what I do.\u2019\u201d Together they work out a solution for his separation anxiety: something to carry kisses in. The \u201cStoryteller\u2019s Note\u201d at the end makes explicit what many parental readers will already have surmised—that the kiss box is as helpful for mamas as it is for the cubs they miss.
— Diane Foote, Booklist
In this sweet story about separation anxiety, Mama Bear and Little Bear find a way to send kisses to each other when they are apart.
The tale begins with a familiar concern of the intended audience: \u201cMama Bear was always home, and that\u2019s how Little Bear liked it. But sooner or later, all mama bears need to go away, even if it\u2019s just for a little while.\u201d Of course, this troubles Little Bear. What ensues is a series of touching scenes in which Little Bear and his mama establish just how much she loves him, how Little Bear will remain in her thoughts and ultimately how they can keep the many kisses they send to each other close by. Little Bear\u2019s brilliant idea is to make boxes to hold their kisses (represented as tiny paper hearts). Debut picture-book author Verburg structures the story, inspired by her personal experience, with a steady, soothing pace. Cole complements the language beautifully with watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations evoking the classic joys of childhood: enjoying a tree swing, fishing at a pond and sharing a yummy picnic lunch. Ever-patient Mama Bear and charming Little Bear remain the focus on each framed spread. The large font and generous spacing of the text should extend the book\u2019s appeal to newly independent readers as well.
Similar in subject matter to Audrey Penn\u2019s The Kissing Hand, illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak (1993), but a whole lot more artful, this fresh take will motivate younger children to create boxes of their own.
\u201c[S]ooner or later, all mama bears need to go away, even if it\u2019s just for a little while,\u201d writes debut author Verburg, founder and editorial director of Scholastic\u2019s Blue Sky Press imprint. But separation anxiety is no little thing—how can Little Bear be assured that out of sight doesn\u2019t mean out of mind? Mama Bear has a couple of ideas, but Little Bear comes up with the best one: he creates the titular box that he fills with a hundred kisses (in the form of cutout hearts), and has Mama Bear do the same. Whenever they miss one another, they can hold the box close or even open it up to \u201csend kisses back and forth.\u201d Verburg handles her emotionally freighted material (based on personal experience, according to the endnote) with a light, patient touch, giving Little Bear\u2019s qualms their full due before introducing his solution. Cole\u2019s (the Big Chickens series) watercolor and colored pencil cartoons are friendly and familiar—there\u2019s something very reassuring in the understated emotion of his portrayals and the graceful beauty of his outdoor settings.
— Publishers Weekly
Meet the Author
BONNIE INGBER VERBURG has been editing books for children and adults for nearly three decades. She and her son live in Southern California with their two dogs, three parrots, a cat, a king snake, a leopard gecko, and a fish named Huck Fin.
HENRY COLE was born on a dairy farm near Purcellville, Virginia, and was an adored elementary-school science teacher for 16 years. He has since illustrated over 80 popular picture books, including the multimillion-selling Moose series and other bestsellers. Mr. Cole has always loved art and science, which has made him a keen observer of details in nature. He now lives in both Florida and Virginia.
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I have followed Bonnie Verburg's highly successful publishing career with great interest. Some of my favorite books she's published are 'No, David!' by David Shannon, 'How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen, and Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey. Her books always appeal directly to the needs of children and are perfectly suited for both children and parents. With this in mind, I'm not surprised that her own book has the same appeal. Separation anxiety is a huge issue for children and parents and there's very little available that deals with it. This enchanting book will reassure any child who's experiencing separation anxiety. The Kiss Box is a way for children to always have their mother's kisses. No matter where you are, you can have a Kiss Box to send your kisses back and forth. No matter how many kisses you take, it always remains full. After 35 years of publishing other people's books, Verburg has created a timeless treasure full of heart. This is sure to be an all time favorite!
I love this book. It was given to me this week. It gave me a wonderful chance to talk to my five-year-old son about a business trip I needed to take. We made a Kiss Box for each of us so we could send kisses back and forth while I was away. I recommend this for any parent who has to be away from a child--even for an hour at the supermarket. I am going to give it to a friend whose little girl is going to preschool (separation), a friend who is going through a divorce (so she won't be with her little boy every day now), a friend who takes a lot of trips, a mom who has to leave her daughter with a babysitter a lot, a mom who is worried about her son missing her when he starts kindergarten, and a woman I met who has to go to go away to the hospital get well enough to take care of her boy. You know we want our kids to feel safe and loved when we are away from them. This gives them that message.