"Counting Kisses"

It’s February and love is in the air. To celebrate this special month, Washington School District Parents as Teachers have chosen “Catching Kisses,” by Amy Gibson, as their newest Baby Buzz Pick.

Each month the group selects a quality hardcover book to recommend to babies and children birth to age five. The parent educators purchase additional copies of the Baby Buzz Books to use in their visits with children and their parents.

The following review was written by Nancy Nagel, local literacy advocate.

“ ‘At any given moment, someone, somewhere, is blowing a kiss. And somewhere, someone is catching it.’ This beautiful new book will delight children and adults alike as it displays a unique way to share affection with the loved ones in our lives.

“The book also provides a geography lesson about our United States. The spinning, waving kisses wind their way from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and the Public Market in Seattle, through Aspen, Taos, Dallas, and on to the East coast, then down to the Florida panhandle. The Gateway Arch and Forest Park also make an appearance midway through the journey.

“At each stop the story features families and communities going about their daily activities, interacting and relating to each other.

“The story is illustrated with characters in silhouette against a background in shades of green-gray. Bright punches of red and yellow are used for accents. The illustrations were produced using Adobe Illustrator.

“Older children will enjoy talking about the different locales featured in the book. Perhaps you live in, or near, one of the cities or areas included on its pages. You can ask your child to describe what is going on in the picture. They also will enjoy making a game of finding the dandelion-like kisses on each page.

“This book provides a lovely jumpstart to a conversation about loved ones and friends who live far away. Why not take some time to make a greeting card, take photos, or draw a picture and then send it to one or several of them. If you do, be sure and send kisses along too.”

Other parent educator favorites this month are “Where,” a board book by Leo Lionni; “Who,” a board book by Leo Lionni; “Animals in Underwear ABC,” by Todd Parr, “The Little Duck,” by Phoebe Dunn, and “Ten Eggs in a Nest,” by Marilyn Sadler.