cover image The Cookie Fiasco

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%E2%80%94and sharing%E2%80%94that's this much fun isn't easy, but Santat is more than up to the task. Ages 6%E2%80%938. (Sept.)