About the Holiday
Sugar Cookie Day may be one of the sweetest holidays on the calendar! With a few simple ingredients you can bake up delicious, melt-in-your-mouth confections that are perfect by themselves, with a cup of tea or milk, or served with fruit. The basic recipe can also be dressed up with all kinds of flavors and chips. Whether you slice the dough in circles or roll it thin and use cookie cutters, making sugar cookies is a fun way to spend time together!
Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons
Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love
One Smart Cookie: Bite-Sized Lessons for the School Years and Beyond
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal | Illustrated by Jane Dyer
Baking is such an ideal metaphor for life and one that children can understand and appreciate from a very early age. A child’s familiarity with and love of cookies make Cookies, Sugar Cookies, and One Smart Cookie perfect ways to teach children the lessons of good manners and social skills. Newly released in board book form, Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons opens to a curly-haired girl and her rabbit and Boston Terrier friends gathered around a mixing bowl. They are cooperating as the animals pour in the chocolate chips while the little girl stirs.
Having patience is often hard for young children. A girl and her sailor-suited Scotty dog stare into the glowing door of the oven, reminding kids that they are often already successful at this much-needed skill. Once the cookies are baked, kids learn how to be proud of their accomplishment while also showing modesty, and they see compassion at work as a little boy reaches across the table to share his cookie with a cat whose cookie has fallen to the floor.
Two rabbits see the same half cookie on a plate very differently: One, trim in her blue bow, is pessimistic, while the other, rakish in his backward baseball cap, is optimistic. Honesty and courageousness are both learned when a contrite sheep tells the truth about taking a cookie: “I have to tell you something. The butterfly did not take the cookie—I took the cookie.” And “It was not easy for me to tell you that I took the cookie, but I took a deep breath…and made the words come out.”
Loyalty means sticking by a friend even if other kids have bigger cookies, and being open-minded is demonstrated when you try your friend’s new recipe even if the result looks a little odd. Contentment is found “sitting on the steps—just you and me, and a couple of cookies.” New insight closes the book with “I used to think I knew everything about cookies, but now I realize I know about one teeny chip’s worth.” After digesting these and other etiquettes, including respect, trustworthiness, fairness and unfairness, generosity, greediness, politeness, envy, and regret, children will be well on their way to life’s wisdom.
Sugar Cookies offers equally perceptive notions on love, defining such words as endearment, considerate, heartfelt, compassionate (“when you burn the cookies to a crisp, I’ll be there to give you a hug.”), selfless, tenderness, adore, cherish, protect, supportive, admire, requited and unrequited, forgive, unconditionally, and more.
One Smart Cookie gives kids direction as they navigate the social constructs of school and activities, defining terms such as prompt, organized and unorganized, prepared and unprepared, compromise, curious, ponder, empathy, integrity, contribute, and more with the same astute and homey ingredients as the previous books.
Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Cookies series offers life lessons with gentle encouragement in a loving, conversational tone as well as comforting advice for those times when situations and emotions can be difficult. The beautifully written text does not simplify the terms or talk down to children, but treats them with the respect, intelligence, and maturity that they will learn when applying these concepts.
With just the right combination of old-fashioned and modern charm, Jane Dyer (and Brooke Dyer as co-illustrator of One Smart Cookie) infuses each concept with enchanting depth. Gorgeous full-page paintings of children and animals dressed in comfortable sweaters, homespun dresses, overalls, and rolled up pants, paired with fine typography create pages worthy of framing. The children and their rabbit, cat, sheep, frog, horse, and dog friends display pride, happiness, patience, sadness, indignation, and love through facial expressions and body language that kids will recognize and respond to.
Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons, Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love, and One Smart Cookie: Bite-Size Lessons for the School Years and Beyond should find a place on every child’s bookshelf.
Ages 4 – 8
- Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons, Board Book Edition, 2016 | ISBN 978-0062427397; Hardcover 978-0060580810
- Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love, 2009 | ISBN 978-006174072
- One Smart Cookie: Bite-Size Lessons for the School Years and Beyond, 2010 | ISBN 978-0061429705
To explore Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s books for children and adults, her short films, and much, much more, visit her website!
Visit Jane Dyer’s website to learn more about her and view a gallery of her books for children!
National Sugar Cookie Day Activity
Catch the Cookie! Maze