If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Book review by
Carrie Kingsley, Common Sense Media
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Book Poster Image
Mouse gets a cookie and lots of fun in sweet, silly story.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows steps for cleaning up after making a mess, basic hygiene, responsibility.

Positive Messages

Follow your interests. Look for fun in surprising places. Be willing to make a mess and clean it up.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The child supports the mouse's interests and cares for the mouse. The mouse is curious, creative, energetic, enthusiastic. 

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, is the first in a beloved series by Laura Joffee Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond, that follows an endearing formula. In this case, a mouse happily jumps from activity to activity with the help of an accommodating child, only to end up right back where it all started. There's a nice amount of repetition here for young readers that makes for a great read-aloud book, and plenty of sweet silliness with both the activities the mouse wants to do and the text on the final page. The book was adapted fro a TV series in 2017, and a 30-minute holiday special, If You Give a Mouse a Christmas Cookie, in 2016. Other books in the series include If You Give a Mouse a Brownie, If You Give a Dog a Donut, If You Give a Moose a Muffin, If You Give a Cat a Cupcake, and more. The book is available in Spanish as Si le las una galletita a un ratón.

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What's the story?

IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE starts with a simple cookie, then one thing leas to another as the mouse embarks on a whirlwind of more complicated activities around the house, exhausting itself and the child with cleaning and crafting and endless ideas. The mouse cleans up its messes and wants to help while also wanting to play, gets tired and needs a nap, and after lots of adventures, the sweet story wraps around to a cookie again at the end.

Is it any good?

Fans of Laura Joffee Numeroff will be familiar with the formula and pacing of the story, and the mouse's activities and happy-go-lucky adventures continue to delight readers. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is also fun for those reading aloud, offering lots of places for a raised eyebrow or a giggle at the mouse's antics. There are lessons in being patient and in following the desire to create, and in taking responsibility for those activities. The ending, which fans of other Numeroff books will know is coming, still brings a smile and a chance to say the refrain aloud together. 

Felicia Bond's engaging illustrations perfectly capture the playful, joyful spirit of this story and the other books in the If You Give... series.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what kind of responsibility the mouse takes for its activities in If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. What do you usually do after you make messes like these?

  • Do you think the child should let the mouse do everything it wants? Why or why not?

  • What other funny stories with animals have you read? What's fun about seeing an animal do things a human kid would do?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and animal stories

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