A Kiss For Akaraka is actually a 4.5. This is due to the fact that the only real complaint I have is the name of the character is a little hard to pronounce (even with the father helping, it does not happen until the middle of the story). However, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the illustrations of E.B. Goodale. The ones that have Akaraka in them especially are probably the best as her form is very unique each time and is fluid. She always has a human form but is not always human.
Richard Jackson’s story is an odd combination of being nice but having odd moments, too. It is nice due to the fact a father and daughter are having fun on an autumn day racking the leaves and them just conversing. This makes it a soft, readable and relatable story. But the fact that the father has his special reasons to “think” his daughters imaginary friend is “real” is what makes it odd. Of course, the father knows that Akaraka is not real, yet due to the fact that the wind is there and the fact that he can put into play a delightful story about Akaraka helping them, this is what makes it odd. It has this almost folktale like setting. It has overtones of Native American and Asian mythology.
With all the oddness this is a book that I want to reread and to share with others. There is something about it that allows it to be able to be read by all. It is a great gift and the modern theme (father and daughter) is not done highhandedly.