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Animal Character, Conflict Resolution, Easy Reader, Humor


The first book in the Elephant & Piggie Love To Read spinoff series, The Cookie Fiasco sets the bar high for the series, as it is written and illustrated by the extraordinarily talented Dan Santat. The basic premise is that four friends–Monkey, Squirrel, Hippo and Alligator–have three cookies. They feel their friendship depends on their ability to divide the cookies equally among themselves.

They generate (and reject) several entertaining ideas. The stress of the situation causes Hippo–who is holding the cookies–to unconsciously break them into pieces. Now the group finds themselves with  six pieces–which they still cannot equitably share among the four of them. The conflict continues, frustration over their inability to come up with a workable idea increases and this leads to Hippo’s intensifying nervousness. Therefore, Hippo continues to break the cookies into more pieces.

Monkey says

This is a flop,

A mess,


Crocodile says

It is a  fiasco!

As the anxiety of the situation reaches its peak, they discover they now have twelve pieces of cookies. They begin to distribute the pieces one at a time and discover that they now each have four pieces! Success!

I absolutely love Monkey, Squirrel, Alligator and Hippo! I adore the lushness of Santat’s illustrations and the big emotions of all the characters. The dynamism of Santat’s illustrations is a perfect complement for these BIG characters in a silly (serious to them!) situation with a little screwball comedy flavor.

I highly recommend The Cookie Fiasco for young readers either independently or as a delightful read-aloud at home or in the classroom! This one will be going on my gift list for the young readers in my community!



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