Perfect Picture Book Friday: RISSY NO KISSIES Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends. Today’s selection is special for several reasons: the author is one of my Storm Agency sisters, the book just launched this month, and the topic of body autonomy and consent is one that used to be ignored, but is finally finding its way into conversations…and books!

I can remember when the aunties would come over – and cheek pinching and hug squishing would occur, whether I wanted it or not. I know there will be many children who relate to the main character in this story.


Written by Katey Howes

Illustrated by Jess Engle

Published by CarolRhoda (March 1, 2021)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Body autonomy and consent, be true to yourself

Synopsis: From Amazon

A lovebird who doesn’t like kisses?!

Rissy’s friends and family wonder if she’s sick, confused, or rude. But kisses make Rissy uncomfortable. Can one little lovebird show everyone that there’s no one right way to show you care?

Rissy No Kissies carries the message that “your body and your heart are yours, and you choose how to share.” A note at the end provides further information for kids, parents, and educators about body autonomy, consent, and different ways to show affection.

“This is an artistic gem for consent discussions, sensory-processing contexts, and anyone who champions children’s agency and bodily autonomy. Radiant.”―starred, Kirkus Reviews

Why I love this book:

  1. The writing: I love the clever rhyme that engages the reader and gets the point across – our body is our own – and how we show affection is a personal matter.
  2. The illustrations: Vibrant color and kid-friendly art will keep the reader turning the pages.
  3. I’m a big fan of stories that entertain, engage, and educate…and this one wins on all counts!


Photo courtesy:

I know that Valentine’s Day is over, but we can show others we love them all through the year. Here are a bunch of lovely crafts that your kids can create and give to those they want to say I love you to – without the smooch or the hug. And with Covid issues, any one of these would be the perfect message to send to a grandparent or other relative they are missing.

For detailed instructions:

And as they used to say on the Looney Tunes Cartoons…that’s not all, folks! Author Katey Howes is generously offering a copy of RISSY NO KISSIES as a giveaway AND some very cool swag! Please leave a comment and also share the post on social media for extra tickets in the giveaway hat. And please don’t forget to put it on your ‘want to read’ shelf on Goodreads!

For more wonderful picture book reviews and activities, please check out Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday post.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. See you next week for more Cover Reveals and Picture Book posts!

68 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday: RISSY NO KISSIES Plus Giveaway

  1. I’m really excited to check this one out, Katey! I loved your kids gifts for the launch. I think that this and Dont Hug Doug will make for a great pairing and discussion with my 4 year old. Best of luck with the launch!


    • Thanks, Kelly!! And if you and your little one would like to join Carrie Finison and I for a story time featuring both RISSY NO KISSIES and DON’T HUG DOUG, you can find the info on the events page of my website. It’s hosted by Bookbug Kalamazoo and tickets to attend are free!


    • Well that’s what I love to hear!! Thank you, Jennifer! And the illustrator has said she’ll be posting a “how I draw Rissy” video on her YouTube soon, too! I love her watercolor tutorials.


    • Thanks, Tammi! One of the reviews calls her a “watercolor gumdrop of a a lovebird” and I think that’s a perfect description! Jess Engle knocked this character out of the park.


  2. Every once in a while, we meet someone who pulls away to avoid hugs or kisses and simply needs to receive this sort of attention in other ways. I smiled at the story because I have two birds who love beak kisses and say, “Kiss, kiss!” followed by smoochy sounds. (Yes, I taught them that. 🙂 ) I’m looking forward to reading this book. The story and the rhymes look wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for sharing! Yes, I love Don’t Hug Doug – and the trend in Kidliterati to talk more about boundaries and consent. You might also check out Madeline Valentine’s new book: More Than Fluff.


  3. What a delightful book about boundaries. Not all kids liked being kissed and touch! This will pair beautifully with Don’t Hug Doug! Katey, my sister-in-law nearly shares your name — Katie Howe. And my maiden name is Howe. Every time I see your name pop up, I feel some twinge of connection. Congratulations on such an important book. Will have to check it out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank to so much, Katie! I agree, Jess Engle’s illustrations are fantastic. She just posted a great IG video about illustrating this book, if you want to check it out. She’s @studioxjess on IG


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