The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn is a classic children's picture book that has been around now for several years. Chester Raccoon is scared to go to school. He would rather stay home with his mother, play with his friends and use his own things. Mrs. Raccoon does what she can to reassure him that he will make new friends and find new toys. And then she teaches him an old secret known as “The Kissing Hand.” Mom opens his left hand and spreads his fingers into a fan. She kisses him in the middle of his palm and then wraps his fingers around it. She tells him that any time he feels sad and misses Mommy, he can touch his hand to his cheek and feel her love. He takes the time to think about it. Then before he leaves for school that night, he asks for his mother's hand. He gives her a kiss in the middle of her palm and folds her fingers around it. That way she can feel his love while he is at school.
As an early childhood educator, I see this story being used time and time again. Mommies kiss their children's hands as they walk into the classroom. Children feel sad during the day and press their hands against their cheeks. They truly believe in the power of the Kissing Hand and it comforts them.
This book is a perennial favorite in the classroom. Children sit in a rocking chair and read it over and over again. Many of them also have it at home.
Reading it with your child does not guarantee that there will be no tears when going to school. But it can help you start a new tradition that you both will cherish forever.