Good things happen when author Amy Gibson kisses and tells. “Everyday, everywhere, kisses are flying,” she writes in Catching Kisses, an endearing tribute to the transfer of love that occurs with one simple act: the blowing of kisses through the air from one person to another.

With gently flowing text, Gibson puts all five senses to work to describe what a kiss can do. We can hear some kisses “SMACK!” like bubble gum. They can smell of ginger and cinnamon, as well as fresh bread and hot chocolate. We can see them zig and zag “through taxis and buses and streams of bicycles.” When they touch us, they can tickle, especially those as “velvet as peach fuzz.” And Gibson knows how to put captivating figurative language to work, such as when she writes that kisses are as “soft as lamb’s wool, but strong as steel.”

Maria van Lieshout’s digital illustrations, rendered on a cool, blue-themed palette with attractive splashes of reds and yellows, take readers on a trip around the country—from seaside towns to deep forests to Main Street. Popular landmarks lend specificity to many spreads, such as Times Square, the Washington Monument, the Golden Gate Bridge and more.

Blowing kisses isn’t only for starry-eyed couples. There are mothers with newborns, children with their caretakers, mama cats licking their kittens and lots more. It all adds up to a comforting story, one that would make an excellent bedtime read for the youngest of children. After all, kisses might be invisible, but they’re real. And “once a kiss is given . . . it can never be taken away.”

Soothing and solacing words, perfect for sharing just before tucking in at night. And sealing with a kiss.

 

Julie Danielson features authors and illustrators at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, a children's literature blog primarily focused on illustration and picture books.

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