Chester Raccoon and the Almost Perfect Sleepover
By: Audrey Penn
Illustrated by: Barbara L. Gibson
Publisher: Tanglewood Books
Publication Date: May 2017
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
For anyone who has missed even one book in this absolutely fantastic series entitled, The Kissing Hand Books, you are missing out on something truly special. Specified for ages 3 to 7, parents will be thrilled to share these books with their kids. All about love and affection, warmth and family – this series focuses on every area of kindness that exists in the world. Thus, it’s not a surprise that the characters in these books teaching this kindness are animals.
In this, the 10th book in this series, Chester is looking at having his first “overday” with his friends across the pond from where he lives. He is headed to Pepper Opossum’s tall white oak home located on the far side of Butterfly Pond. Mrs. Raccoon (beloved Mommy) drops off Chester and leaves him with a kiss in the middle of his palm. Although he’s nervous about being away from her, he is also very excited to be spending the day with his pals. And these are some really cool pals: Pepper, of course, is the hostess. Then we have Stanley Squirrel, Badger, Chester’s own best friend Cassie Raccoon, and the fun and slightly smelly Amber Porcupine. (She’s a great friend. She just has an issue with making “stinky puffs” at certain moments in time.)
The friends have an absolute ball. They run, they hang upside down in trees, they play darts – you name it, they do it. They even have a feast of some really delicious grubs and slugs that Mrs. Opossum serves. But, like all of us, after playing hard and eating well, all we feel like doing is taking a nice, restful nap. But it’s difficult napping away from home. You miss Mommy and your siblings, even though you also love the day of play you’ve had with your friends. So...what will Chester do? Well...you have to read and find out. Also, you get to stare at absolutely wonderful artwork that brings these characters to life. I’m not exaggerating; this is one illustrator who is so specific and so brilliant in her work, that you and your children will feel like Chester and his gang are literally real and living right outside your window.
It is not a shock that this series has gone on for so long and been so popular. This reviewer (who is now a Grandma and wants the perfect books to share with her beautiful granddaughter) loves the fact that Chester has gotten to the big “Ten.” This is one series that lets all of us follow along with a great young lad as he grows up and experiences the world, teaching life lessons along the way that every family should celebrate.
Quill says: This is the perfect set for young children to have in their homes. Chester is a whole lot of fun!