Chester Raccoon and the Almost Perfect Sleepover
by Audrey Penn ill by Barbara L. Gibson
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn is one of those classic children's books that will always endure and will endear generations of young readers. Chester Raccoon and the Almost Perfect Sleepover is a continuation of this series. Chester sets forth for his first overday, the equivalent of a sleepover for nocturnal animals. Mama escorts her son to the home of his friend Pepper Opossum. Spoiler alert: you will see the kissing hand when she says goodbye to her youngster. Hanging out (literally) with friends Opossum, Squirrel, Badger, and Skunk; throwing darts furnished by Porcupine; and eating grubs and slugs makes the day fun. When it's time to curl up and sleep in the cozy hollow, Chester begins to miss home. Adult animals accept his anxiety and help him return to familiar surroundings.
Like a kiss on the hand, this reassuring tale acknowledges a child's fears and offers a reasonable solution to the dilemma.
Barbara L. Gibson's illustrations and expressive animal faces bring warmth and delight to the tale. Take a look at the eyes. Raccoons have never looked more winsome.