Illustrator: Ruth Harper
Category: Children's

Since its first publication (Child Welfare League of America, 1993; Tanglewood Press 2007), The Kissing Hand has become a children's classic that touches the lives of millions of children and their parents, especially at times of separation, whether starting school, entering daycare, or going to camp.

In 1998, Scholastic published a paperback version to sell through their Book Clubs and Book Fairs. It is an "underground classic. Every year, it's one of our biggest, most popular best sellers," says Judy Newman, president of Scholastic Book Clubs. "It really resonates with a child. That wisdom is really wonderful ... a perfect way to say 'I love you.'"

Knowledge of the book spread after 9/11, when the American Library Association recommended it. And The Kissing Hand even has a fan base in the U.S. Army: in 2004, they purchased 14,000 copies of the book for soldiers stationed abroad to read on video and transmit the video to their families at home. Today, they’ve sold over 40,000 books, and have created a “Kissing Hand Initiative” to help parents reach out to their young children while overseas.


One of Ruth’s illustrations from The Kissing Hand was selected recently for the Wild Reading: Animals in Children’s Book Art exhibit at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT - from 3/26 to 7/3/2016.

We’d be honored if you chose her Work, too!


A “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children” (National Education Association), as well as a “Top 100 Picture Book” of all time (SLJ), The Kissing Hand was included in a recent Huffington Post shout-out to picture books as holiday gifts: "12 Picture Books Even 8-yr-olds Should Read."

“Sometimes also known as The Book We Cannot Keep In Stock. The Kissing Hand is most frequently cited as the book you use to send your child off to kindergarten.” – Elizabeth Bird