Friday, September 16, 2016

"C" Is For Cookie

I've toyed with the idea of a cookie-themed storytime for a while since I knew of several great books, and who doesn't like cookies, but I was hesitant out of fear that it would be cruel to talk so much about cookies and not give the kids any (allergy concerns as it was at daycare, not with parents). But after several people assured me they had done it without issues, and I came up with the idea of introducing it with the focus on the letter "C" instead of cookies, I decided to give it a try. I also made a rare discovery in the process (more on that at the end).

We started with our welcome song, then I told them we were going to talk about the letter "C" and showed them an uppercase and lowercase "Cc". I had them make a "C"-shape by curling their fingers and thumb, then by drawing in the air with their finger. We talked about the two sounds the letter "C" makes, the "s" sound as in "circle" and the "k" sound, like in "Colby" and "Carlton" (we actually used two names of kids in the class). Then I showed them examples of other "C" words, ending with "C is for Cookie".

"Hey, I know a song like that, and I bet you do, too! It's sung by my favorite monster, Cookie Monster!"

"C" Is For Cookie

"C" is for cookie, that's good enough for me.
"C" is for cookie, that's good enough for me.
"C" is for cookie, that's good enough for me,
Oh, cookie, cookie, cookie starts with "C"!
[followed by munching of many pretend cookies]

I didn't show them the video, but just in case you're not familiar with the song or *gasp* the character, here it is:

We followed that with our "story song" and then read our first book, Who Ate All The Cookie Dough? by Karen Beaumont and Eugene Yelchin (uncle of the late actor Anton Yelchin, who played Chekov in the latest Star Trek re-boot). I have to say, I love this book; it's the one that originally gave me the idea for a cookie theme the first time I read it. Mama Kangaroo made some cookie dough, but when she was ready to bake cookies, it was all gone! 

She goes around asking all the other animals if they know who ate it, but the culprit turns out to be closer to home. I like that this book is relatively short and simple, and has a nice rhythm with lots of repetition to encourage the audience to join in. This is a great book for the older toddler-younger preschooler crowd. Plus, I can definitely relate to eating cookie dough ;)

After that, we pretended to make cookies, using an action rhyme I originally found at Sunflower Storytime, but this time I modified it a little bit. I start by telling the kids we are going to pretend to make cookies, so to get out their bowls (hold arm out as if holding a big bowl) and first add butter, then sugar, and then crack two eggs and add them, but to be very careful not get the shells in! Then we proceed with the poem, continuing to act it out.

Making Cookies

          We are making cookie dough.          (hold out arms like a bowl)
          Round and round the beaters go.     
(move hand around bowl, twirling finger)
          Add some flour; just 2 cups.            
(dump in 2 cups)
          Stir and stir the batter up.               
(stirring motion)
          Roll them, cut them nice and neat.  
(rolling pin motion)
          Put them on a cookie sheet.           
(place pretend cookies)
          Bake them, cool them on a rack,     
(pretend to place on rack, blow)
          Serve them to my friends for snack!    
(pretend to hand out & eat)

At the end, we compared what kind of cookies we each made, were they chocolate chip, sugar cookies, gingerbread men, oatmeal, peanut butter, etc.

The next book was Keisha Cane and Her Very Sweet Tooth by Ashley Foxx and April Foxx. Keisha Cane's love of sweets often gets her into trouble. One night, she sneaks out of bed and tries to steal some cookies out of the cookie jar, but accidentally breaks it! Knowing she will be in trouble, she tries to clean up the mess, but in the process makes one mess after the other!

I just happened to find this in our catalog when I searched for juvenile fiction with the subject of "cookie". It turned out to be a great book with humor and drama, lovely cut-paper collage illustrations, and entertaining but with a good message. Plus it featured a character of color, which was a great bonus. I also loved the way the author had Keisha's mother call her by just her first name when she found the first mess, first and last name when she found the second mess, and all three names when she found the last mess! Unfortunately this was the only copy in our whole system, and was coming apart. 

Upon looking to buy a replacement, I discovered it was a unicorn! That rare, self-published book that was good, and had met the criteria to be included in the collection; all the others I've seen have been pretty bad. It was great to see a good self-published book, but sad that there are no more copies available for purchase anywhere. It was written by a Memphis kindergarten teacher who was frustrated at not being able to find many good books for her students with characters that looked like them. I hope this author finds a publisher and re-releases this book in hardback, and continues to write more.

After we read the last book, we sang our closing song and passed out stickers. [I had also brought If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Laura Numeroff and The Duckling Gets A Cookie!? by Mo Willems, but decided two books was enough for today since the second was on the longer side.]

How It Went
Despite my initial qualms, this storytime went really well, and no one was disappointed I didn't have cookies for them; in fact, no one even asked! I think introducing the theme as being the letter "Cc" helped, and we made a big show of eating pretend cookies at the end of both the song and the action rhyme, both of which they really enjoyed.

Both books worked very well. As I expected, Who Ate All The Cookie Dough? was perfect for them. With it's short length and simple rhyming and repeating text, they couldn't help but start saying it along with me, and they liked seeing all the different animals. Most of them thought the monkey ate it, but I think one observant child noticed the joey's ears peeking out above Mama Kangaroo's apron. This is a must-have for a storytime collection.

Keisha Cane had just a little too much text on a few pages for some of them, but overall they really seemed to like this book, and recognized Keisha was just digging herself deeper and deeper in trouble. When she first reached into the cookie jar, once little boy said dramatically, "She's gonna get a whoopin'!" Some of them could hardly stand the suspense, knowing Keisha was eventually going to get caught, and all adults chuckled when Keisha's name got progressively longer each time her mother yelled it. We all know you're in BIG trouble when your mother uses all three of your names! 

I think the kids were relieved to see Keisha did NOT, in fact, get a "whoopin'," but rather her mother talked to her and helped her to see that it just made things worse to try to fix your mistakes by yourself, and that they still loved her even if she made mistakes, and even when they got mad at her. I think this is a good message for kids to hear. I am so disappointed to find I can't buy a hardback copy of Keisha Cane for myself, or to replace the paperback copy we have that is falling apart.


  1. See if you can write the author. She may just have an extra copy or two that she would be willing to sell. And maybe even autograph.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, and for the suggestion. I have left a message on her website and Facebook page already, so we'll see :)