PPBF: Sloppy Kisses…Self-Esteem and Peer Pressure…What’s the Connection?


Hurray!  Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susannah Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who contribute a picture book review and related resources for parents, teachers and children. 

Please bear with me for two important reminders:

1.      If you haven’t already been to Susanna’s Perfect Picture Book resource page, I encourage you to go.  You will find HUNDREDS of picture book titles to choose from…divided into dozens of categories that will make it easy to find ‘JUST THE RIGHT BOOK’!  Click on the title and you will be whisked away to the story summary and review…there will almost always be great resource and/or activity suggestions as well.

2.      If you haven’t nominated your local library to win one of the 25 FREE copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking that we are donating, PLEASE do so now!  Click the book title link above and you will travel to sunny Spain where you can read the most recent review of this must-have resource that makes choosing picture books and planning fun-filled educational self-esteem building activities a snap for parents, teachers and children’s librarians.


Help your favorite library win a copy!  Just leave a comment on this post or email me at vivian@positiveparentalparticipation.com, naming the library and telling why the people in your community would benefit from having the book available to them.  At the end of the month, twenty-five libraries will be chosen using Random.org.

Do you tweet on Twitter?  Are you a fan of Facebook?  Have you pinned anything on Pinterest yet?  Are you active on LinkedIn?  Please help me spread the word about the Show-Me-How Library Project by tweeting, posting and/or pinning.  Last week several people re-blogged my post…that’s a great way also!



Sloppy Kisses

Written by Elizabeth Winthrop

Illustrated by Anne Burgess

Publisher: MacMillan Publishing Company (1980)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Peer pressure, teasing/bullying, family, self-esteem


Emmy Lou’s family is not ashamed to show how much they love each other.  However, when a school friend tells her that kissing is only for babies, Emmy Lou begins to question the way her family shows their love.  For several days, the little piglet refuses to allow her father to kiss her goodbye when he drops her off at school and she won’t let her parents kiss her when they say goodnight.  Although she doesn’t realize why she is so unhappy, her parents do.  When Emmy Lou can’t get to sleep one night, her parents sit and talk with her.  How will this problem be resolved?  Will Emmy Lou go kiss-less for the rest of her life or will she decide to continue her family tradition and ignore the peer pressure.


Why I like this book:

Peer pressure is a very powerful influence, often with negative consequences.  Children can reject it only if they have a very strong sense of self-confidence and the knowledge that they are worthwhile individuals, entitled to say no or disagree with what someone else says they should do.  Emmy Lou’s parents respected her temporary wish to refrain from kissing…the respect that they showed her enabled Emmy Lou to believe in herself and make her own decision to ignore her school friend’s advice.

Young children need to hear stories like this where the main character triumphs and is able to stand up for what she believes in.  The loving relationship is evident in Emmy Lou’s family…her parents paid attention to what she had to say and were respectful of her wishes…up to a point…after all, they ARE the parents.

The text and illustrations work well together…keeping the reader and listener anxiously awaiting the problem’s resolution.

Related Activities:

When our children were young, we enjoyed helping them make things to give as presents instead of buying gifts at the store…a way of saving money while encouraging their creativity.

One of our favorite presents was to make a “gift certificate” for something the recipient might want or need which was something the giver could do, or make.  ***GOOD FOR ONE CAR WASHING***   ***REDEEM FOR ONE HOUR OF VACUUMING***   ***GOOD FOR ONE EVENING OF BABYSITTING***

This tradition became so ingrained that even in 1989, when our oldest son was 17, he gave me this card for Valentine’s Day.


When our daughter was 6 years old, she made her own hugs and kisses coupon book as a gift for her father for his birthday.  He still has that as well.


Here is a lovely craft activity to do after reading Sloppy Kisses.  Young children need hugs and kisses from those they love on a daily basis…how about making a “hugs and kisses” coupon book so that your child can get extra ones as needed.  When your children come to you with a hug or kiss certificate, you will have a great opportunity to talk with them…maybe they had a bad day at school, perhaps they are worried about an upcoming assignment…or maybe they just need a little reassurance and demonstration of your love.

You will need: Construction paper, markers or crayons, stapler, scissors.

1.      Use one piece of construction paper for the cover…cut it if you wish and fold it in half.

2.      Your child can decorate the cover.

3.      Cut another sheet of construction paper (or copy paper) into coupon-size certificates.

4.      Write the words: Good for 1 Kiss and Good for 1 Hug on them.

5.      Let your child decorate each coupon.

6.      Staple the coupons into the cover.

I’ve been making these coupon books and gift certificates for over 40 years, but now everyone’s doing it.

Dltk has some adorable printable coupons here that look like this:

Family Crafts has a wonderful assortment of printable coupon ideas here.

eHow has a page on making printable coupons here

Cricket Magazine has a board book set called Mommy Hugs and Daddy Kisses here.

The Bennington Free Library has a story page with activities for Sloppy Kisses here.

Parents Magazine has a page of instructions for making coupon books here.

Nick Jr. has some printable hug coupons here.

This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill.  Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.  And please don’t forget to leave a comment, nominating your local library to be the recipient of a copy of Show Me How!