Zero Kisses for Me

Overview

"Zero kisses for me" is a declaration of independence from a youngster who has a family of fond, affectionate relatives. Sometimes kisses are sticky or perfume-y or just plain yucky, and, besides, they're for babies. They're not dignified for someone who's growing up.

Our small hero decides that the kissing ban goes for goodnight kisses too. That is, of course, until it's bedtime and the monsters appear. And everyone knows that the best defense against the monsters is a goodnight kiss from Mom. The ban's over, ...

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Overview

"Zero kisses for me" is a declaration of independence from a youngster who has a family of fond, affectionate relatives. Sometimes kisses are sticky or perfume-y or just plain yucky, and, besides, they're for babies. They're not dignified for someone who's growing up.

Our small hero decides that the kissing ban goes for goodnight kisses too. That is, of course, until it's bedtime and the monsters appear. And everyone knows that the best defense against the monsters is a goodnight kiss from Mom. The ban's over, and he and his understanding mother come to the conclusion that nobody gets too old for kisses after all. As reassuring as a goodnight kiss, this tender book is sure to become a favorite at bedtime or anytime.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
An English translation of the Italian picture book Zero baci per me!, this sugar-sweet story features a pint-size toddler bear who is fed up with the many kisses he receives. "By the end of the day, I'm worn-out with kisses. I'm tired of being everybody's tootsy-wootsy, everybody's huggy-bear, everybody's kissy-snooks. NO MORE MUSH!" But in the dark with only his stuffed bunny, the bear quickly changes his tune. Dominated by reds, pinks, and yellows, Soumagnac's heavily outlined cartoons are simply and graphically designed, telegraphing the protagonist's irritation and frustration; she adds additional humor by personifying several of the kisses, giving them cutesy heart bodies, striped-stocking feet, and smoochy lips. Framed mostly as the small bear's diatribe, Monari's story also shows off his mother's patience and good humor ("Well, I like to give goodnight kisses, so I guess I'll have to make do with kissing Bunny," she tells him). Although the ending feels abrupt, toddlers who have had to squirm their way out of an aunt or parent's adoring kisses are likely to identify with the feeling of being coddled. Ages 4–7. (Nov.)
Children's Literature - Susan Borges
The gentle message in this whimsically illustrated story will charm young readers because they will delight in relating this story to their own experience as they grow up in a warm and loving family and begin to feel independent. The little girl decides that she is tired of being kissed by everyone all the time and she announces to her mom that from now on she will have zero kisses. She explains to her mom that she is too big to be kissed and that she is worn out with kisses. However, when bedtime comes and it is dark, mom knows that a kiss will help the situation. The large print text is simple, humorous and repetitive making it easy for young readers to follow along and to predict the outcome of the story. Meanwhile the appealing monochromatic illustrations on each page are expressive, cartoon-like, and wonderfully reflective of the text, making it fun for young readers to look at this book independently or read with an adult. This darling book is sure to be a family favorite for parents and their young children. Reviewer: Susan Borges
School Library Journal
PreS-K—In this dialogue between a mother and child, a young bear complains about too many kisses, too much mushy language, and too many sweet nicknames from Mama and the rest of the family. By the end of the conversation the youngster has banned good-night kisses from the bedtime routine. Mama complies with her youngster's request, but informs her cub that she really likes giving kisses. When the little one gets scared of the dark, it is only "bunches and bunches" of Mama's kisses that make everything better. While Monari honestly depicts a phase many children go through and Soumagnac's cartoons (complete with anthropomorphic kisses) are playful, the choice of a predominantly pink palette makes this Italian import a potential shelf-sitter. This color seems to turn off many boys, who might otherwise be the demographic for such a book.—Rachel G. Payne, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews

A little one goes on strike against kisses. It seems that mama, and indeed the whole family, inflicts torture constantly with pet names like honeybunch, flower bud, tootsy-wootsy and other yuckiness. To add insult to injury, all this mush is accompanied by multiple kisses. But that night in the dark, scary room, it takes mama's kisses to make everything all right. Monari's slight tale of a little child with big-kid ambitions is spot on the mark. Told mostly in a loving dialogue between mother and child, the language and syntax are true to life and utterly believable. Soumagnac's cartoon-style illustrations are a perfect match. The characters are generic creatures that variously resemble koalas, cats and other cuddly animals. The protagonist's grimaces and slouches are hilarious and leave no doubt about the complete undesirability of kisses. Heavy black lines and blocks of solid colors in a palette of reds, pinks, greens, browns and oranges make everything pop, especially the little flying hearts that symbolize the repulsive smooches. This is a sit-on-your-lap, kiss-and-hug read-aloud. (Picture book. 3-7)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781770492080
  • Publisher: Tundra
  • Publication date: 11/9/2010
  • Pages: 24
  • Sales rank: 1,406,228
  • Age range: 4 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

MANUELA MONARI has been writing since she was an imaginative child growing up in Italy. Her children's books are known across Europe. She is also a bookseller of children's books in Modena, Italy.

VIRGINIE SOUMAGNAC has a degree in applied arts and has worked as a graphic designer. She is also an acclaimed illustrator whose work has appeared in several books.

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