A little girl who knows her mind when it comes to what she likes is stymied when she ponders the color of a kiss. Monica likes riding her bike, strawberry cake, and her mother’s stories, but what she loves is painting. She’s painted all sorts of things in all kinds of colors, but she’s never painted a kiss. What color is a kiss? Subsequent double-page spreads consider the colors in turn: red, green, yellow, brown, white, pink, blue, and black/gray. But there are good and bad things in each color: spaghetti-sauce red is the color of anger and people don’t give kisses when angry, and while her favorite cakes are pink, Monica does not like princesses or fairies (the black-haired white girl is dressed all in black and white). In the end, Monica asks an expert: her mother. The wordless response fills the final spread with rainbow-patterned and -colored hearts. But while sweet, this answer may leave concrete-thinking readers without closure. In each of the color-dedicated spreads, almost everything is pictured in the featured hue, sometimes even Monica herself. Bonilla’s choices are all over the map: Monica doesn’t like vegetables, most of which are green (she covers her mouth as if about to throw up in one picture), and the brown spread features chocolate, fall leaves, and dog poop. Likely to be a kiss for artists-in-training but a miss for others.
– Kirkus Reviews
This story follows Monica, a budding artist who tries to answer the titular question. She considers all the colors in her paint box and all the things and feelings associated with each, deciding afterward that a kiss couldn’t be any of those colors. Unable to find the answer herself, she asks her mom. Mom answers by giving a kiss, and a rainbow of hearts fill the pages. The illustrations are mostly drawn, but they also incorporate mixed media and other styles of art. Similar titles with plenty of color and emotions include Molly’s When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry and Dr. Suess’s My Many Colored Days. VERDICT A sweet, vibrant story that will be best enjoyed one-on-one or as a samll group read-aloud and art activity.
—School Library Journal