Cookie Fiasco
by Santat, Dan; Willems, Mo

"There are only three cookies and four hungry friends to share them with. This is not good. This is not equal!"-

Dan Santat ( is the author and illustrator of the recent Caldecott winner, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, and many other books. For Disney-Hyperion he illustrated Oh, No! and Oh, No! Not Again! by Mac Barnett, Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo by Ayun Halliday, and Because I'm Your Dad by Ahmet Zappa. He is also the creator of Disney's animated hit The Replacements. Dan lives in Southern California with his wife, two kids, and two dogs.

Mo Willems (, a New York Times #1 best-selling author and illustrator, has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions, for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity. The celebrated Elephant & Piggie early-reader series has been awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal on two occasions (for There Is a Bird on Your Head! and Are You Ready to Play Outside?) as well as garnering five Geisel Honors (for We Are in a Book!, I Broke My Trunk!, Let's Go for a Drive!, A Big Guy Took My Ball! and Waiting Is Not Easy!).

In this Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! title, it's cookie time, and four pals-a hippo, a crocodile, and two squirrels-are psyched. Alas, there are only three cookies, bringing quandary and then contention. Complicating matters is the hippo's tendency to break things when nervous, which initially results in six cookie pieces ("This is not good," says Croc). As the squabbles continue, the cookies are in danger of becoming crumbs, but fortunately, those broken pieces eventually add up to just the right amount for each, bringing a happy and delicious resolution. Told in speech bubbles and witty asides, this is perfect for early readers. Vibrant full-color cartoon illustrations, with hyperbolic and humorous touches, keep the expressive animal friends at the forefront. Santat's big among the picture-book set, and this will help usher those fans into more independent reading. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Elephant and Piggie introduce a beginning reader that's a math lesson: how can three cookies be divided equally among four friends? A hippo, a crocodile, and two squirrels really want to share, fairly, but getting there isn't easy. Eventually, the hippo nervously breaks the cookies into six, and then 12 pieces—making the math work perfectly. Dividing three glasses of milk will be a whole different problem. The art looks little like Santat's Caldecott-winning The Adventures of Beekle (2014). It is lighter, cartoonish, and more cheerful than most of his work, matching the silliness of the slight story. The crocodile is endearing rather than threatening, and the hippo is a big, friendly purple one. The blue squirrel wears glasses, and the orange squirrel wears pigtails, denoting gender. Speech bubbles outlined in the same color as the character speaking make following the dialogue fairly easy, though side comments that will go over the heads of most beginning readers are distracting. The story relies on variations in font sizes to communicate excitement and drama. Over 100 words, mostly sight words, are used, with very few repeated more than once or twice, gearing this for readers with some practice behind them. Commentary from Elephant and Piggie that frames the story may sell the book to teachers or parents hungry for more from the popular brand. In the end it's a morality tale that may not be worth raiding the cookie jar for. (Early reader. 6-8) Copyright Kirkus 2016 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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