In which Brianna reviews yet another book great for Valentine's Day. Or for teaching children about love and empathy generally. This article contains affiliate links, so you can help support Busy Nest News with your purchase of this and other great books. Thanks!
Plant a Kiss, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Peter H. Reynolds
I can’t let February slip by without one more sweet book about love. This one is Plant a Kiss, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds.
“It goes like this. Little Miss planted a kiss.” Those are the words on the first three pages. Rosenthal and Reynolds have interpreted this action in the most literal sense. The illustrations depict a girl literally planting a kiss in the ground. In the following pages she nurtures the kiss with love, water, and sunshine- just like a plant! At last her kiss grows into a glowing, sparkling vine, which kids from all around come to wonder at. Against their advice, she chooses to share her twinkling harvest with people everywhere, and learns that sharing love only produces more.
This book is too cute. The pictures are simple, mostly using one or two colors on a page. I love that it shows a confident little girl, fearlessly going out into the world to share something she thinks is important. The text is pithy and rhymes, which is always a bonus in my book, as long as it’s done right. Monkey loves running her fingers over the glittery kiss harvest, since it is raised off the page, giving the otherwise simple pictures an extra, fascinating dimension. Yes, when I said her harvest of kisses was sparkly, I did mean that there’s actual glitter on the page, so if you have a glitter ban in your house, you might want to skip this book. I don’t think it’s bad, though. The sparse pictures mean it doesn’t take much glitter to make the kiss plant pop against the white page. And it’s applied in such a way that not one bit of glitter comes off on any of our hands when we touch the page. This book allegedly comes in a board book format, but I couldn’t get ahold of one myself. If you can, I would recommend opting for that over the traditional hardcover, as it’s a wide rectangle and the paper pages are a little tricky to turn without a little ripping.
Probably my favorite part of this story is the clear message that sharing love only creates more love. Little Miss’s friends warn her not to give away her love, but she ignores them and returns home to find even more. This book is a great compliment to our efforts to teach Monkey empathy. It shows that love does take work, but the effort ultimately pays off in more happiness for all. I give this book four eggs, because as much as I love it, I’m so worried we’ll rip the pages as we’re reading it. If you can find the board book, let me know if that format elevates this book to a five. I’ll be on the lookout, too.
P.S. There are all kinds of adorable, horticultural activities to go along with this book! Check Pinterest or Google for more precise instructions, but a lot of them look appropriate for home or the classroom. Enjoy!
Ariel’s Two Cents: Plant a Kiss is a great addition to a board book library. Having experienced both versions, I would lean toward the thicker, more robust board book. If for nothing else than that version has no glitter! There is a glitter ban in our household. None shall pass!
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Ariel and Brianna are friends who met while working in a library. Now they collaborate to develop life-enhancing book club experiences.
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