2699 Snoogle-Fleejer Cookie Mice

The latest Easy Picture Books to catch my eye are a mixed bag. Tana Hoban’s 26 letters and 99 cents is exactly what the title specifies and nothing more. Open it from the front and you will see the alphabet presented in both upper and lower case in a plastic toy-claymation style that is distinctive but not especially impressive and illustrated by a picture of something beginning with the letter–from an airplane to a zipper. A useful but not special book for pre-reading alphabet drills.

Older toddlers who’ve already learned the ABC’s can open the book from the back and see the numbers 1 through 99 displayed with pictures of pennies, nickels dimes and quarters making up the number specified, from a single penny to three quarters, two dimes and four pennies in the final frame, this could be useful in teaching to count money. Recommended only if you happen upon it at the library and don’t have to buy it.

I should no longer be surprised when I find yet another example of a celebrity or public figure who has penned a children’s book, I’ve certainly run across and written about them before. But this one, by former US President Jimmy Carter, illustrated by his daughter Amy Carter, sadly reinforces the impression I got from Pete Seeger’s The Deaf Musicians— that celebrities generally don’t know much about writing children’s books and use illustrations that are downright ugly. The story, which is sweet if a bit oversimple and bland, is told in far more words than a toddler would ever likely read for herself so the book seems intended for an adult to read to a child. But I doubt the poor quality illustrations would hold the child’s attention long enough for the adult to get through the wordy story. Not Recommended.

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie is the best of this bunch. A very cute story about things the mouse will subsequently want and you’ll subsequently have to give him. The illustrations are cute and appealing. Felicia Bond, the illustrator, apparently didn’t get the memo about mandatory ugly drawings and author Laura Joffe Numeroff deftly tells the tale at a true Easy reading level. A very pleasant story book suitable for bed time or quiet time. Recommended.