cover image Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons

Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons

Amy Krouse Rosenthal, , illus. by Jane Dyer. . HarperCollins, $12.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-06-058081-0

Cookies provide the vehicle for Rosenthal's (Little Pea ) deliciously charming collection of defined and illustrated vocabulary words that serve as gentle guides to etiquette. Dyer's (Time for Bed ) scenes of old-fashioned kitchens and balmy outdoor picnics create a feeling of nostalgia, while the cast of multi-ethnic children and their assorted animal friends provides a balancing contemporary feel. Vocabulary words appear, one or two per page, in bold capital letters; definitions follow in lower case, and each term warrants its own illustrations. "Cooperate means, How about you add the chips while I stir?," the book begins. The accompanying full-page watercolor, on the opposite page, features a curly-topped redhead stirring batter, while the bunny and dog at either side add chocolate chips (all three sport white aprons). Words such as Patient, Proud, Modest and Respect are defined in straightforward, cookie-related terms that children of all ages will comprehend. For example, "Trustworthy means, If you ask me to hold your cookie until you come back, when you come back, I will still be holding your cookie." Three vertical panels illustrate a horse entrusting his cookie to an Asian girl, putting on his coat and leaving; the next full-page painting shows the girl still stoically resisting temptation when the horse returns. Dyer's art finely complements the simple yet profound wisdom that flows throughout Rosenthal's inspired text. This story is likely to have a multi-generational appeal. All ages. (May)