I approached this book with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation as Mary Murphy’s 2003 book I Kissed the Baby! is one of my favourite picturebooks to share with babies and I wondered – could A Kiss Like This measure up?
Kisses come in many forms; gentle and tall like giraffe kisses, quick and small like mouse kisses, fuzzy and buzzy like bee kisses. Each adult and child pair (owls, elephants, even fish) is introduced on a double-page spread and the reader can make them kiss by turning a half-page – like this! mwah!.
This book is great fun – perfect for cuddling up with a baby or toddler, and it can be made as quiet or as uproarious as the readers wish. The animal characters are depicted in their simplest form, with almost childlike artwork that yet manages to portray the essence of each one. The colours are bright and clear, set against an expanse of white. The pictures are full of life and there is little ornamentation or distraction from the main characters and their parade of kisses.
The text is simple and fun and the hand lettering means the words are presented and read as part of the whole picture, rather than as a separate strand of the book – adding to the complete experience of this excellent picturebook.
So, does A Kiss Like This measure up to I Kissed The Baby!? While I marginally prefer the high impact of the black background in the latter, overall yes – but get your hands on both, if you can!