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What’s a Cross Cookie to do? Angry Cookie by Laura Dockrill

ANGRY COOKIE
Written by Laura Dockrill
Illustrated by Maria Karipidou
(Walker Books; $16.99, Ages 3-7)

 

Angry Cookie book cover art

 

Written by Laura Dockrill and illustrated by Maria Karipidou, Angry Cookie is a hilarious and clever way to engage young children with the topic of emotions. Ironically, the conversation begins because of Angry Cookie’s every effort to shut us out.

On the book jacket, Cookie warns us readers with an adorably menacing look, “You opened the book! You better not read it … I am very angry, and there is NOTHING you can do about it!” He calls us (silly) names, he bids us an abrupt farewell, and even tries to end the story prematurely with a curt “The end.”

 

int spread by Maria Karipidou from Angry Cookie by Laura Dockrill Walker Books

ANGRY COOKIE. Text copyright © 2018 by Laura Dockrill. Illustrations copyright © 2018 by Maria Karipidou. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA on behalf of Walker Books, London.

 

Try as he may, he knows he can’t get rid of us. In fact, our presence begins to slowly shed light on his dark mood. Though he may feel anger gives him a sense of power, we see it’s his way of protecting his hurt feelings. Dockrill’s sense of humor creates a safe space for children to approach the issue of anger and the multiple layers of emotion it masks. When you’re angry every little thing gets on your nerves—even the fact that you have to use the “grown-up spicy” toothpaste when the “delicious, yummy, strawberry-pudding” one ran out. But it’s never about the toothpaste … or the bad haircut … or the ice cream parlor running out of your favorite “most wonderful vanilla sundae.” Underneath the anger, feelings of rejection, pain, and loneliness trouble Cookie. Illustrations wonderfully balance this vulnerable side of the story. Karipidou’s soft pastels create a friendly space with Cookie being at the center of many pages, drawing our attention to his voice (and, on two occasions, his butt!).

 

int illustrations by Maria Karipidou from Angry Cookie by Laura Dockrill Walker Books

ANGRY COOKIE. Text copyright © 2018 by Laura Dockrill. Illustrations copyright © 2018 by Maria Karipidou. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA on behalf of Walker Books, London.

 

Once his anger is gone, Cookie can finally see the truth—that the person he found “annoying” is really the friend he needed to care about him and lend a listening ear. Feeling validated, Cookie can shed off his former perspective and start enjoying the things that previously bothered him. He can separate himself from his feelings and recognize that, though he was acting like a “grumpy lump,” he’s not the same cookie anymore.

This book is a wonderful resource parents, educators, and caregivers can use to talk to young children about how anger feels as they’re going through it themselves or when they notice it in someone else. Angry Cookie will leave readers feeling anything by angry.

  • Reviewed by Armineh Manookian

 

ARTWORK AND TEXT NOTE: ANGRY COOKIE. Text copyright © 2018 by Laura Dockrill. Illustrations copyright © 2018 by Maria Karipidou. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA on behalf of Walker Books, London.

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The Best Books are Silly Books

BTRAEveryone would agree that the American Library Association knows all there is to know about books. That’s why it makes a lot of sense that they published a list of  Silly Books to Read Aloud; Books That Will Have Adults and Kids Laughing Together ($18.95, Huron Street Press, Adults). Written by Rob Reid, a father of four children, instructor and expert of read aloud books, this treasure of humorous children’s books for all ages is a valuable resource for parents and teachers who strive to find books that will encourage the children in their lives to embrace reading.

There’s a brief introduction explaining the benefits of reading humorous books with your kids. Then there are chapters for picture books, easy readers, chapter books, poetry books, as well as graphic novels and manga. There’s also a Hall of Fame Guide to the Funniest Authors and Illustrators.  In each of the chapters, there’s an alphabetical list of books by author, followed by the title and a short paragraph with a synopsis of the book and mention of any companion books that you may wish to check out.

As a parent, I have vivid memories of the days when I bought books for my avid-reading daughter that I thought would be great only to be disappointed that they were often just plain boring. I love the fact that Silly Books to Read Aloud takes the guesswork out of choosing fun books to read together. And  since literacy is the single most crucial factor in financial success as an adult, making reading fun is essential for your child’s future.

As a book reviewer and children’s book author of a book about a silly talking  millipede, I am often asked by parents and teachers for recommendations for other humorous picture books. Now I can recommend they read Silly Books to Read Aloud, the ultimate guide to saving valuable time and making great choices when it comes to children’s book that are fun to read.

Reviewed by Debbie Glade.

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