There's nothing I enjoy more than sitting down to read to my children, but it's just as enjoyable to have those children sit down and read to me. If you have an emerging reader, Panda Kisses is a sweet bedtime book.
Panda Kisses is part the Random House Step into Reading series. It is a Step 1 (red) book. This step is considered “Ready to Read” and targeted to pre-K to Kindergarten readers.
Panda Kisses is a very sweet story about Baby Panda and his quest for the perfect type of kiss. Baby Panda's parents offer him a variety of different types of kisses, “A soft kiss? A sweet kiss? A sticky bamboo treat kiss”, and in the end he realizes that the best kiss of all is “from both of you!” The text in this book is large and easy to read. With 3-7 words per page in this 31 page book, it doesn't take much time to finish. The rhyming allowed my child to quickly master this story and feel confident to move on to another book.
The main reason I selected this book was for Kay Widdowson's illustrations. There's an awful lot of kissing in this book, so pucker up! The cover features the panda family: Father Bear kissing Mother Bear's head, Mother Bear kissing Baby Bear's head, and Baby Bear looking very happy. Hearts surround the family and two bluebirds watch from the branch of a cherry tree. I know--it sounds so sweet. And it is. My daughter didn't comment on all of the kissing until we got to “How about a bunny kiss?” There are two white bunnies in the foreground of the illustration (a mommy and a baby) with their bunny lips puckered and a heart rising above their kiss. Apparently, that was so funny that it left my daughter rolling on the floor in fits of laughter. Pandas kissing--no problem. Bunnies kissing--super funny! Birds, fish, frogs, bees, mice, worms, flowers--everyone kisses even if they don't have lips!
Panda Kisses is a “learn to read” book in our house, not a classic we'll keep for the next generation, but it has served it's purpose well. My daughter learned to read it and I'm happy I bought it for her. Even though the story has been mastered, it is a book she is willing to read again.