cover image Catch That Cookie!

Catch That Cookie!

Hallie Durand, illus. by David Small. Dial, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-42835-0

Marshall, the skeptic of his elementary school classroom, isn’t buying any malarkey about gingerbread men. “They can’t run for real,” he announces. “No way.” But when his teacher, Mrs. Gray, goes to retrieve the cookies the class has made, the oven is empty. The gingerbread people have escaped, apparently, and they’ve left clues in verse: “We ran from the oven, we were bored and hot,/ Now we’re hiding in a big, black ___.” The class quickly enters the spirit of the hunt, but it’s Marshall the doubter whose detective work leads the class to the “G-men.” Durand (Mitchell Goes Bowling), a pseudonym for agent Holly McGhee, understands elementary-school culture and cuisine: “Marshall put some good stuff on his gingerbread man—a silver-ball belt and six eyes (he really liked raisins.)” With characteristic energy, Small (One Cool Friend) uses bold lines, liberal swaths of wash, and wry humor to draw Marshall’s school and his stylish teacher: “Kudos, Marsh,” she says, after Marshall struggles with the big bowl and spoon. “You rocked that dough.” Ages 3–5. Agent: Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. (Aug.)