Together or Apart: The Kiss Box by Bonnie Verburg
MAMA BEAR WAS ALWAYS HOME, AND THAT IS HOW LITTLE BEAR LIKED IT.
BUT SOONER OR LATER, ALL MAMA BEARS NEED TO GO AWAY, EVEN IF IT'S JUST FOR A LITTLE WHILE.
Loss is one of life's verities, and even little bears know that somehow.
When Mama has to go away for a few hours, Little Bear knows that that's not a good thing for baby bears. Mama Bear tries to soothe him with a special picnic that morning where they fish and find all kinds of fun. But still Little Bear is not really consoled.
"I MISS YOU ALREADY," HE SAYS.
Mama tells him she will miss him and think about him all the while she's gone, but although he believes her, it doesn't stop his pain at the thought of her absence. Mama Bear suggests that they make a special jar which she will fill with a hundred kisses so that he can take have them whenever he wants. Still, Little Bear is not quite reconciled to the idea. An envelope of kisses does not do it for him either. A hundred kisses on his fingertips won't work. Mama begins to worry.
Then Little Bear comes up with his own idea.He will make his own secret kiss box and fill it with kisses for her to take along.
"SURPRISE! HERE'S A KISS BOX FOR YOU. NOW YOU MAKE ONE FOR ME!"
Little Bear instinctively understands that love is best kept as a two-way street in Bonnie Verburg's first picture book, The Kiss Box (Orchard Books, 2011), so ably illustrated by the notable Henry Cole. Verburg, esteemed editor of many famous books by authors such as David Shannon, Jane Yolen, and even Dav Pilkey, writing from a similar experience with her own children, has here one of the best of the many books dealing with separation anxiety for youngsters, capturing the universal theme here with ease and grace and reminding us of that bittersweet truth:
TOGETHER OR APART, OUR LOVE GOES ON AND ON.