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WHO TOOK THE COOKIES FROM THE COOKIE JAR? by Bonnie Lass

WHO TOOK THE COOKIES FROM THE COOKIE JAR?

By Bonnie Lass (Author) , Philemon Sturges (Author) , Ashley Wolff (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-316-82016-4
Publisher: Little, Brown

The familiar children’s playground chant, “Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar,” is broadened here into a picture-book mystery that’s a delight to view, but less successful as a read-aloud. When a skunk goes to the cookie jar to get cookies to go with his milk, all he finds are crumbs. In turn, he asks his friends mouse, raven, squirrel, rabbit, turtle, raccoon, snake, beaver, and frog if they have taken the treats. The individual denials and the connecting refrain, “Then who took the cookies? The jar was full! Where did they go? Mmm . . . Oh! . . . Now I know . . .” strain, and the added words throw off the easy rhythm of the original. But Wolff’s (Each Living Thing, p. 56, etc.) white-framed watercolor and pen-on-paper illustrations are bold and lively, expanding on the brief text. The setting is a desert expanse with cactus and wildflowers in bloom and a stream meandering through. Wolff introduces skunk on the title page as he holds a steaming tray of chocolate chip cookies, and a lizard accompanies skunk throughout his search, which lasts well past nightfall. They follow visual clues such as the trail of cookie crumbs and various footprints, the search culminating in a moonlit celebration. It won’t take observant viewers too long, however, to guess the culprits, as a line of ants parades across the front left endpaper. They are pointing to a page where the game is explained, with suggested variations, and a melody and guitar chords are provided for singing the original song. (Picture book. 3-6)