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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Like all children, Rachel wants things. On a visit to the mall with her mother, Rachel is fascinated by the toy store and asks her mother for some of the toys. At the clothing store, Rachel is fascinated by all the clothes, especially the Halloween costumes. And, at the candy store, Rachel asks pleadingly for some candy. Each time she asks, her mother replies with love and kindness, “Rachel, we don’t have the money to buy all those things. They are very expensive and not what you need. But I will make you this one guarantee, as long as you’re with me, the hugs and kisses are free!” As it should be. Even if the mother could afford all those things, the most important gift a mother can give a child is her love – the hugs and kisses type of love.
I had tears in my eyes as I read Daniel J. Price’s picture book story, Hugs and Kisses are Free. The bond of love between a mother and a child resonates so profoundly in this simple little story. Like Robert Munsch’s Love You Forever, the plot lovingly turns full circle when young Rachel echoes her mother’s kind words. I love the way the author has created a touching story based on a simple fact; that the best things in life really are free. The charming illustrations help carry the story along and every reader will instantly fall in love with little Rachel. The repetition of “the hugs and kisses are free” phrase will help reinforce this powerful little treasure of a book.