“The Kissing Hand”

School is starting in the forest, but Chester Raccoon does not want to go. To help ease Chester’s fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary. “The Kissing Hand” is one of my favorite books about separation anxiety or about doing something new.

1. Watch and listen to Barbara Bain read The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn:

2. Discussion questions:

  • How does Chester feel at the beginning of the story?
  • How does Chester feel at the end of the story?
  • Can you remember what Chester doesn’t want to do? What would he rather do instead?
  • What are some things that we all have to do but don’t want to? How does this make us feel?

3. Art activities:

  • Kissing Hand: Trace your hand on a piece of paper. Draw a heart in the middle of your hand outline.
  • Helping Hand: Trace your hand on a piece of paper. Think about people you see helping other people. They could be people in your family, people in your neighborhood, or people you hear about (like doctors, nurses, firefighters, and more). Draw something in or around your hand outline to represent each helper you can think of. Draw as many as you like! You could even cut out the handprints and decorate a tree with them!
  • Alternative: If it is a nice sunny day you can draw hearts and trace your hands outside with sidewalk chalk!

4. Find more discussion points and activities here (pdf)

Older children can find out more about raccoons by using our online databases. Click here to get to the library’s research page and choose Britannica School or Elementary Resources (formerly Kids InfoBits). There are even resources for middle school and older!

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