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Books by Audrey Penn

The Kissing Hand Books

Happy Birthday Chester!
This year is a special year, the 20th birthday for The Kissing Hand and Chester Raccoon. In its honor, we have a special, limited edition of the book with a gold seal and an extra activity inside. Visit our Kissing Hand page to see our special zipper pull and to download a birthday party kit.

The Kissing Hand
The Kissing Hand
Written by Audrey Penn
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Un Beso en Mi Mano/The Kissing Hand
Big Book edition
Audio edition
Chester Raccoon Puppet
Sticker Sheet
New for Spring 2014! A Kissing Hand for Chester Raccoon
A Kissing Hand for Chester Raccoon
Board Book
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A Pocket Full of Kisses
A Pocket Full of Kisses
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Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully
Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully
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Audio edition

A Bedtime Kiss for Chester Raccoon
A Bedtime Kiss for Chester Raccoon
Board Book
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A Color Game for Chester Raccoon
A Color Game for Chester Raccoon
Board Book
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Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories
Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories
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Chester the Brave
Chester the Brave
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A Kiss Goodbye
A Kiss Goodbye
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More Picture Books by Audrey Penn

A.D.D. not B.A.D
A.D.D. not B.A.D.
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Feathers & Fur
Feathers & Fur
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The Miracle Jar
The Miracle Jar
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Sassafras
Sassafras
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The Whistling Tree
The Whistling Tree
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The Blackbeard Quartet

Mystery at Blackbeard's Cove
Mystery at Blackbeard's Cove
Book 1 in The Blackbeard Quartet
Written by Audrey Penn
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Blackbeard and the Sandstone Pillar
Blackbeard and the Sandstone Pillar:
When Lightning Strikes
Book 2 in The Blackbeard Quartet
Written by Audrey Penn
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Blackbeard and the Gift of Silence
Blackbeard and the Gift of Silence
Book 3 in The Blackbeard Quartet
Written by Audrey Penn
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More About Audrey Penn

Read an interview with Audrey Penn for US Kids magazines' Parents & Teachers page.

Audrey Penn

Audrey Penn is an award-winning author of several books for children, including the highly acclaimed New York Times bestseller The Kissing Hand. She grew up outside Washington, DC, in Silver Spring, Maryland, and spent a great deal of time in North Carolina. As a child, Audrey had a gift for storytelling, and her teachers encouraged her to write.

During the 1970s, Audrey was a ballet dancer, performing with such groups as the New York City Ballet, the National Ballet, and the Stuttgard Ballet in Europe. She served as the dance coach to the US Figure Skating Team in preparation for the Pan American Games (1973), and was the US Gymnastic Team's dance coach in 1974 and 1975.

Audrey's first book was Happy Apple Told Me, published in 1976. In 1979, however, she was confined to her bed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis -- a debilitating disease that ended her dance career and required many surgeries over the next 15 years. During this period of restricted mobility, Audrey increasingly channeled her artistic talents toward writing stories and books for children.

Her most popular book to date, The Kissing Hand, published in 1993, was inspired by a real-life occurrence that happened in a park near her home. While she was riding a small train through a park, the train suddenly came to a stop. A raccoon mother and her tiny cub were on the tracks, and the mother was opening the cub's paw and appeared to be kissing it and putting it on the cub's face. Coincidentally, at the time, her own daughter was frightened of starting kindergarten, so Audrey used the concept of giving her daughter a kiss to save for when she needed it -- and it worked. The Kissing Hand continues to sell around 100,000 copies each year and has been followed by several highly successful sequels.

Mystery at Blackbeard's Cove, her first young adult book published in October 2004, was the culmination of a 20-year project. Ms. Penn spent the better part of that time getting to know the pirate descendents who still reside on Ocracoke Island, NC, where Blackbeard and many of his fellow pirates lived and died. She also researched the letters, journals, and diaries passed down through family and friends. The novel sold out of its first 10,000-copy print run in the first 10 weeks of its release, and was recommended by Booklist.

In addition to her writing, Audrey takes her educational program, the Writing Penn, into schools, libraries, and children's hospitals where she often shapes and refines her story ideas in partnership with kids. She is a much sought-after conference speaker for groups of teachers and other professionals who work with children.

Ms. Penn lives with her husband in Olney, Maryland, near Washington, DC. She has three children.

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