One Smart Cookie

What It Is

A variety of “big” words and life lessons are presented in this picture book that uses cookie baking as a backdrop. Each page begins with a word and its definition in the context of cookie baking. For example, the first page features the word “prompt” and the narrator tells us that prompt means being on time for the baking session. As the cast of children and their friends, who are animals, proceed through the baking process, additional words are defined. Some words relate to important lessons in working together, such as “comprise.” This means deciding to make medium size cookies when one baker wants to make small cookies and another really big ones. Other defined words used include “empathy,” “listening,” “contribute,” “procrastinate” and “inspire.” The book concludes with a recipe for making a “One Smart Cookie” batch at home.

Why It’s Fun

Amy Krouse Rosenthal gives adults a clever tool to help teach important values and character traits to kids. She creatively translates such topics as perseverance, integrity, humility, under a theme that kids will find interesting and to which they can relate. My kids (six and nine) were in a “learning mood” when we first read this book and had fun defining each word, or at least trying to, at the start of each page. The next time I get a blank stare when I ask them not to procrastinate, at least I’ll have a good reference to use! Jane and Brooke Dyer’s illustrations are magnificent and have a vintage feel that evokes Norman Rockwell’s style.

Who’s Going To Love It

Though the publisher’s recommended age range is “all ages,” the words used are geared for kids about five or six years and older. Teachers should find this book to be a valuable classroom tool and may want to have a copy on-hand. The book is also great in the home as either a library pick or purchase, and worth reading now and again.

Reading Time

About 3-4 minutes

Read-It-Again Points

7 out of 10

Book Information

One Smart Cookie: Bite-Size Lessons for the School Years and Beyond
By: Amy Krouse Rosenthal; Illustrated by Jane Dyer and Brooke Dyer
Published by: HarperCollins Children’s Books (2010)
Approximate retail price: $12.99
Publisher’s recommended ages: All Ages


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