The Biggest Kiss (Hardcover)
Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 9781442427693, 24pp.
Publication Date: December 20, 2011
Praise For The Biggest Kiss…
WALSH, Joanna. The Biggest Kiss. illus. by Judi Abbot. unpaged. S & S/Paula Wiseman Bks. Dec. 2011. RTE $12.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-2769-3. LC number unavailable.
PreS-Gr 2–“Kisses on noses,/kisses on toes-es./Sudden kisses when you least supposes” starts this endearing selection. The text goes on to describe myriad creatures who deliver and receive a variety of kisses in their own unique ways. The engaging rhymes are perfectly complemented by the colorful, whimsical illustrations. A wonderful cuddle-up-and-read choice.–Debbie Lewis, Alachua County Library District, FL
School Library Journal, November 2011
The Biggest Kiss
Joanna Walsh, illus. by Judi Abbot. S&S/Wiseman, $12.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4424-2769-3
A penguin tours the animal kingdom to see how kissing stacks up among different species. Newcomer Abbot’s characters are essentially adorable variations on rounded and curvilinear shapes, ranging from pert to plump. She laughs in the face of zoological accuracy, anthropomorphizing with abandon: in the spread, “Frogs like to kiss, and dogs like to kiss,” she imagines a kissing booth run by a frog prince, as pups of various breeds line up to pay $1 for the privilege. The titular kiss does not belong to the big blue elephant that sprawls across another spread, extending its trunk to a mostly unseen partner (while providing a perch for two kissing ants). Rather, it’s the kiss that comes from a grownup penguin, who clearly loves a cuddle as much as the narrator does.
-- Publishers Weekly
Walsh’s rhyming text is full of cutesy rhythms: “Kisses on noses, kisses on toes-es. Sudden kisses when you least supposes.” Sometimes the phrasing stumbles: “Who likes to kiss? I do! I do! Even the shy do. Why not try, too?” But toddlers and young preschoolers will probably not mind. They will be too engaged in spotting the lively penguin on each spread and too charmed by Abbot’s winsome illustrations that fittingly extend the wording in the story. Patient dogs queue up for a smooch from a frog prince, cool blue “ ’normous elephants” contrast strikingly with bright red “little tiny ants” and a bewildered monkey endures a smattering of lipstick kisses. Be the kiss small or tall, one to start or end the day, young readers are reminded that “the very best kiss… / is a kiss from you!” Perhaps no big surprise but comforting nonetheless.
The Biggest Kiss
By Joanna Walsh and illustrated by Judi Abbot
(Paula Wiseman; ISBN 9781442427693; December 2011; Fall catalog p. 38)
“Kisses on noses, kisses on toes-es. Sudden kisses when you least supposes” begins this delicious paean to parental affection. Walsh’s genial rhymes and hypercute drawings by Abbot, a first-time illustrator, make this square-shaped picture book, first published in Britain, stand out from the Valentine pack. Spots of humor amid the syrup also help: “Some kisses are misses, they land on the ear or near” accompanies a frowning monkey speckled with lipstick marks. Some kisses, let’s face it, are too sweet.
--New York Times Book Review, February 12, 2012