Who Took the Cookies?

The story opens with Skunk taking cookies out of an oven, but just a page later, the cookie jar is empty. Accompanied by Lizard, he ventures out into a desert landscape accusing, in turn, a number of animals of taking his baked goods. A picture-book adaptation of the familiar childhood game featuring animal characters. Wolff’s distinctive watercolor-and-pen art brings the lively chant to life. Each illustration provides a visual clue to which creature Skunk will approach next. A feather on the ground leads to Raven, and so on. Authors Bonnie Lass and ¬†Philemon Sturges expand on the game by allowing each animal to respond with an alibi of sorts. For example, Beaver replies, “Who, me?/Couldn’t be!/My favorite snack/Is sticks in a stack.” Children will enjoy the challenge of solving the mystery and astute observers will notice the clues provided on the front cover and title page.

In the happy ending, the culprit Ants invite all of the animals to share Skunk’s cookies, and the baker himself doesn’t seem to mind. This book includes instructions to play the circle game, and the music and guitar chords necessary to sing the song.

~School Library Journal

Ashley Wolff sets the illustrations in the American Southwest; a skunk, dressed western style, with a bandana, a vest, and a cowboy hat, plays detective, searching for clues and asking about the cookies. The artwork is bright and cheerful, ending with a double-page spread of all the animals (and the guilty ants) munching cookies in the moonlight.


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