South African author and illustrator Niki Daly has given us a gem of a
book with "No More Kisses for Bernard!" All children, both boys and girls,
know that when relatives and special friends visit their parents, there are
inevitable hugs, and kisses are deposited on cheeks and foreheads. But as
children start to reach independence (which can come with some as early as 2
and 3 years old) these demonstrations of affection become very unwelcome!
Daly's intrepid character, Bernard, is no exception. This boy, who
appears to be about 4 or 5, knows that as soon as his aunts Lulu, Lola,
Lilly and Tallulah arrive, he will be drowned in kisses and hugs. He loves
his aunts, but he just does not want them kissing and hugging him anymore.
Hiding his lips with his hands doesn't work. He even comes up with the
plan to wear a knight's visor on his birthday. That works until Aunt
Tallulah opens the visor to sneak a kiss on his nose, which causes Bernard
to firmly declare, "No kisses! No hugs!"
Of course the four women are disappointed that their affections are being
rebuffed. They love Bernard very much and try hard to respect his wishes.
Then Aunt Tullulah comes up with an idea. She will create paper heart kisses
and hugs to give to Bernard. He loves that idea! Soon all the aunts are
creating paper kisses and sharing them with Bernard until he is once again
covered in kisses, although paper this time.
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After his bath, as his parents are tucking him in for the night,
they ask Bernard if they can have a special kiss, to which Bernard
agrees. A nice, simple good-night kiss is just right for him to
share with his mom and dad.
Although Bernard and his family are depicted as a generic family
of mom, dad and child, the aunts are a multicultural mix. Every
character is illustrated to depict a personality, from Aunt
Tallulah's offbeat fashions to Bernard's Spiderman costume. The
reader will see in each character traits that are easily identified
in their own families and friends. Each spread has interesting
details that will keep young people searching the pictures for added
information about Bernard and his family.
"No More Kisses for Bernard!" is sure to be a pleasurable read
for young and old alike. Don't be surprised if you hear the refrain
"No more kisses!" being repeated at your house.
For more books like this, visit the Lincoln Public Library, 725
[Text from file received from Louella Moreland,
Lincoln Public Library District]
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