Chances are that when you run into a tough situation, you may recall the little engine that could and start chanting to yourself, "I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." until you feel confident. Your parents probably told you that story based on a board book before you were old enough to have a "real" hard or soft cover book.
The Best Mouse Cookie is a board book in that tradition, and a book that I highly recommend for your youngsters (be they your children, nieces and nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews, grandchildren, or beyond). If you have ever enjoyed the Laura Numeroff/Felicia Bond classic, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, you'll be delighted to know that The Best Mouse Cookie is based on the same two characters, the boy and the mouse. The story is quite different so don't expect a variation on the theme of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.
The Best Mouse Cookie has many good lessons about friendship, sharing, paying attention to details, overcoming setbacks, and looking at new activities as fun challenges. Any child who loves chocolate chip cookies and doesn't like to share will find this book to be custom built for helping to adjust that selfishness.
As the book opens, the boy is staring into a window of the little mouse house in the base of a big tree. Inside the window, the boy sees the mouse wearing a chef's hat and over-sized apron and admiring himself in the reflection from a toaster while a bag of groceries and backpack sit below. "Mouse has everything he needs to make cookies." On this page, mouse has piled all the ingredients precariously on one another atop a stool.
The mouse has a box of recipes and a boom box and sings his head off while putting the ingredients together. "He adds flour, salt, and a little music."
The mouse becomes overconfident until he begins to have trouble neatly breaking eggs.
Finally, the cookies are assembled in the oven and the mouse is tired. Stretching out for a little snooze, the cookies burn!
Mouse awakes, tosses out the burned cookies, and starts all over without regret.
Mouse then makes a huge pyramid of cookies that will bring screams of delight from any youngster who sees the illustration.
The book ends with this lesson: "There's no such thing as too many cookies . . . but the best cookie in the one you share with a friend." In the illustration, mouse reaches outside of his window to hand a cookie to the boy who smilingly accepts the gift.
Now, isn't that a nice story to read before bed?
Like most board books, your child will soon be "telling" you the story . . . long before she or he can actually "read" the words.
I thought that the illustrations were among the best that I've seen Felicia Bond do.