The Cookie Fiasco

Dan Santat and Mo Willems. Hyperion, $9.99 (64p) ISBN 978-1-4847-2636-5
Three cookies + four friends = a big problem in Caldecott Medalist Santat's (The Adventures of Beekle) entertaining contribution to the new Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! series of beginning readers. "Hey, guys! Cookie time!" booms an enormous purple hippo, setting in motion a real-time story problem when his friends, a crocodile and a pair of squirrels, realize that there aren't enough cookies to go around. As the animals argue, Hippo starts nervously breaking the cookies into pieces, ushering in a fresh round of outrage ("Hippo! What are you doing?" screams one of the squirrels in shocked disbelief) but also leading to a fractions-based solution that ensures that everyone gets his or her fair share of chocolate chip goodness. Angular speech balloons and all-caps exclamations work neatly with Santat's ever-energetic artwork to amplify the fraught emotions at play; in a nifty visual touch, the characters' imagined solutions to their dilemma are pictured using sculpted figurines that appear in thought bubbles. Creating an introduction to the concepts of factors, fractions—and sharing—that's this much fun isn't easy, but Santat is more than up to the task. Ages 6–8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/12/2016
Release date: 09/20/2016
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