Tuesday, October 11, 2016

What Color is a Kiss?

What Color is a Kiss?
written and illustrated by Rocio Bonilla
2016 (Charlesbridge)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

But above all, what I like the most is PAINTING!!!

Monica is quite confident in the beginning. She rides a bike faster than the wind. Some of her likes are swallows, strawberry cake, and her mother's stories. Monica also enjoys being kind to her plants, watering them and boosting their confidence with kind words. Her favorite thing? Painting. Lady bugs, bananas, flamingos, and penguins are just some of the million things that she has illustrated. But every artist meets their Gordian Knot, and Monica is no different. What she can't solve is the color of a kiss.  It could be red. Spaghetti sauce is yummy, but red is also the color of anger so that won't work. Green? Well, crocodiles are cool, but most vegetables are definitely not, with the ever so slight possible exception of artichokes. How about yellow? Sunflowers are chipper flowers, idea light bulbs are yellow, and honey are sweet like kisses. Unfortunately, honey comes with bees so yellow can't be the color of a kiss. Monica struggles with the good and the bad of other colors. So much so that she has to call in relief in the form of her mom. How will she solve this color conundrum?

I see two immediate ways you can use What Color is a Kiss? in the classroom. In kindergarten, this would fit nicely with the teaching of color words at the beginning of the year. Students could even try to answer the title question in a writing assignment. Another good use would be to teach comparing and contrasting. You could introduce a t-chart in first or second grade as a graphic organizer. I think the end spread of What Color is a Kiss? would also yield a terrific discussion as students try to interpret the author's meaning. This is a sweet story that will make for a colorful read aloud in a primary classroom.

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