Ever had a child who had separation anxiety? I love to share the story of “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn.Childrenbookspotlight

Story summary: It’s hard to say goodbye to your mom or dad. Little ones who have a hard time separating may enjoy this short tale about Chester Raccoon who doesn’t want to go to night school. He is scared about leaving his mommy.


Kissing handMom shares a family secret with him that helps warm Chester’s heart…and gives him the courage to go to night school. He knows his mom will be home waiting for him after school.

I love the message of this story and the cute ritual you can do with your own child. Children love rituals–it helps them feel secure and helps serve as a signal for a routine. Read this story with your little one, adopt the ritual or use the story to create one of your own.

Suggested ages: 3-5 years

I love this book as it provides a way to introduce the idea of a simple ritual that can be used and practiced. As you are reading the book you can ask, “How do you think Chester is feeling? Have you ever felt like that?” Parents can use the same ritual as Chester and his momma or parents can introduce their own ritual after reading the book. Here is a link to the book being read on YouTube (VIDEO: 4 minutes and 45 seconds).

Fun tidbit: the sign that momma shows Chester as he summons his courage to go to night school means “I Love You” in American Sign Language (video mark at 4:08). This is a nice silent sign to show your child as you say goodbye until you meet again.

RELATED: How to Ease your Child’s Separation Anxiety

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