Books Are Pretty

Thursday, July 07, 2005

I'll Give You Kisses.

Originally titled "Smile for Auntie" when it was first published in 1976, Diane Paterson's I'll Give You Kisses lets you visit the golden age of 70's cartoons in all its glorious urban chic.

The plot: Auntie, dressed in a shapeless purple coat, tan boots, and a polka-dotted babushka knotted tightly around her head, tries to coax a smile from her Uncle-Festerish nephew, who ain't havin' it.

The story is best read with the storyteller taking on the role of Auntie and the listener taking on the role of the baby. As we progress through the story - "I'll tickle your tummy! I'll tickle your toes! I'll tickle you all over!" I mimic the action in the book with Christopher. He has yet to make it through the entire book without at least one belly laugh.

The illustrations are reminiscent of old school Sesame Street cartoons and they carry us happily along as Auntie twists herself in knots to get Junior to flash his pearly white. Junior gets more and more visibly agitated all the way up to the surprise ending.

Christopher has been crazy for this book for the past week. He understands that there's a punchline at the end, and he's trying very hard to not only grok what the words mean and how they relate to the drawings, but also why the joke at the end is funny.

After I've read the story through at least twice, we discuss what happened, and why things turned out the way they did, and what the ending could have meant.

Most authors go through their entire career's without having a book as rigorously discussed as Paterson's. If you judge a book's quality by its ability to provoke thought, I'll Kive You Kisses is a triumph of modern literature!

Appropriate for ages Birth to 3 years.

Buy the book!

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