If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

What It Is

This “modern classic” celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2010! Giving a mouse a cookie sounds quite simple, but the mouse in Laura Numeroff’s creative tale is quite complex. You might even say he is high maintenance! A nice young boy invites the mouse into his house for a cookie and finds himself indulging the mouse in series of connected requests beginning with a glass of milk and then a straw. The requests lead us through a chain of events that includes, among many things, a hair cut, house-cleaning spree and coloring session, returning us to the fridge where the mouse requests a second glass of milk, and of course… a cookie!

Ms. Numeroff is a very talented author, with many children books outside of this series worth checking out at your local library or book store. Also, she is donating a portion of her royalties to First Book, a national nonprofit organization that promotes children’s literacy.

Why It’s Fun

What made this book a classic is its wonderfully simple text, clever chain of events, beautifully detailed illustrations and, of course, the twist at the end. Just like a parent who scurries about tending to all their kids’ diverse requests, the young boy in this book entertains the mouse’s every whim and we feel his exhaustion! We also can see all of the boy’s hard work thanks to Felicia Bond’s “descriptive” illustrations. This 25th anniversary edition is a reprint of the original with a simple “board game” printed in the back cover called “The Great Cookie Chase”.

Who’s Going To Love It

“If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” is a fabulous pass-down book. In fact, we were introduced to it several years ago by my niece who wanted to “pass it down” to my kids. It’s the first in a series of “If You Give” books. However, I believe this one and the others featuring the mouse are the best. A mouse just seems to be more naturally mischievous than the moose, cat and pig featured in her other titles, which seem to be extensions of a working formula and a little forced.

The publisher’s recommended age is 3- to 7-years-old, but I think kids will likely out-grow the book after kindergarten. Either way, you may never look at a mouse the same way again!

Reading Time

About two minutes.

Read-It-Again Points

8 out of 10

Book Information

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie 25th Anniversary Edition
By: Laura Numeroff, Illustrated by Felicia Bond
Published by: HarperCollins Publishers (25th anniversary edition 2010; original printing 1985)
Approximate retail price: $16.99 (hardcover)

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