Amy Gibson’s text in Catching Kisses is warm, poetic and thoughtful. She creates a meandering tone that carries the reader throughout the entire book–from the first end pages with fully formed dandelion seeds on stems to the last pages of select seeds carrying the reader outside of the book. The (digital) illustrations capture the tone and blows the reader forward to find the lonely dandelion spore that floats through the pages.
The tone and “search and find” aspect of this book reminds me of Shaun Tan’s The Red Tree, also found in the collection Lost & Found. A silhouette is chasing a red leaf off the recto on the title page, which transforms from red leaf to red spore–though, the spore found on every spread is not necessarily red in Catching Kisses. And while the tone of The Red Tree is much heavier in its hopelessness, Catching Kisses will appeal to a wider audience.
The journey of the blowing kisses through the book also takes the reader to various cities across the US in a subtle and playful way. This would be a great storytime book for 3s and 4s!
Catching Kisses by Amy Gibson, illustrated by Maria Van Lieshout