BRIGHT RED KISSES
Written by Teresa Toten
Illustrated by Deidre Betteridge
The air is full of tickles.
I can hear my Mommy humming.
It’s a party!
Could be dinner!
Maybe company is coming?
A young girl is excited by her mother’s bustling, until she realizes Mommy is going out for the evening without her. Still, mommies take a lot of getting ready before they go, and this mommy needs an extra-special helper to make those crucial dress-up decisions.
Before long, mother and daughter are caught up in a whirlwind of bubble baths and cold creams, strappy shoes and fancy dresses. Each step of preparation comes with its own smells and sounds and textures and colors, all leading to the question: which lipstick to wear? After all, these bright red kisses hold the promise of Mommy’s return, which she always does after a great night out.
Teresa Toten has created a textured tale attired in rhyming text, satiny sounds, and brilliant images. Together with Deirdre Betteridge’s richly colored and flowing illustrations, Bright Red Kisses perfectly captures a child’s perspective of this grown-up ritual.
- Finalist, the Amelia Francis Gibbon award, CLA
- Canadian Children’s Book Centre Starred Choice Award
Toten’s jaunty, skipping rhythms bounce along … Betteridge’s loose lines, pale colors splashing over the ink, make visible the speedy hurlyburly. Ideal for children fascinated by grown-up glamor, this is also a warm and understated assurance that separation need not be traumatic.”
— Toronto Star
What makes this sweet picture book sing is Toten’s lovely use of language. She narrates her simple story with wonderfully playful rhymes that pick the prose up and make it leap and twirl just like the fancy party dresses in the back of the closet. The book wouldn’t be half as captivating though, were it not for Deirdre Betteridge’s truly effervescent illustrations. BRIGHT RED KISSES is sure to be a hit with younger readers.
— Quill & Quire
…how well it reads aloud! The narrative is rich with carefully crafted rhyme and musical word choices.
— Canadian Children’s Book News
The premise is very sweet …Betteridge’s watercolors echo the activity level and myriad choices found in the rhyming verse. Cute.
— Kirkus Reviews