If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

If a hungry little traveler shows up at your house, you might want to give him a cookie. If you give him a cookie, he's going to ask for a glass of milk. He'll want to look in a mirror to make sure he doesn't have a milk mustache, and then he'll ask for a pair of scissors to give himself a trim....The consequences of giving a cookie to this energetic mouse run the young ho...

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Title:If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Author:Laura Joffe Numeroff
Rating:
Edition Language:English

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Reviews

  • Simon Watts

    I enjoy children's books more as an adult than I ever did as a child. Perhaps, this is because I can see past the cutesy bullshit and appreciate the adult agenda within them. For example,

    is far more chilling when read as an adult coping with our nuclear reality.

    introduces children to homosexuality, while The Berenstein Bears introduces children to how Pappa Berenstein hates foreigners.

    Who's really surprised?

    If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is both a le

    I enjoy children's books more as an adult than I ever did as a child. Perhaps, this is because I can see past the cutesy bullshit and appreciate the adult agenda within them. For example,

    is far more chilling when read as an adult coping with our nuclear reality.

    introduces children to homosexuality, while The Berenstein Bears introduces children to how Pappa Berenstein hates foreigners.

    Who's really surprised?

    If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is both a lesson about the very adult dangers of kindness, and can even be interpreted as a warning against welfare.

    It's impact might be lost on child readers, but I believe the exposure to such concepts is good for their minds. 5/5 stars for asking troubling questions.

  • Archit Ojha

    Every time, somebody says Cookie or mouse, it is impossible for me to not repeat the entire title.

    Funny and unique. This poem is innovative and entertains amazingly.

  • Elyse Walters

    Who remembers this book?

    Happy is as happy is!!!!

    Some books just bring back great memories!!

  • Ann

    There's a good amount of happy nostalgia associated with this book for me, so, the bad is that it makes it hard for me to review this objectively, but, the good is that obviously I loved it when I was little. And, I can still see why! The illustrations are adorable and the absurdity of the antics of this helpful little mouse are delightful! I can appreciate now the 'helpful' actions of the mouse reflecting those of children who 'help' mom in the kitchen (i.e. cooking breakfast while leaving a hu

    There's a good amount of happy nostalgia associated with this book for me, so, the bad is that it makes it hard for me to review this objectively, but, the good is that obviously I loved it when I was little. And, I can still see why! The illustrations are adorable and the absurdity of the antics of this helpful little mouse are delightful! I can appreciate now the 'helpful' actions of the mouse reflecting those of children who 'help' mom in the kitchen (i.e. cooking breakfast while leaving a huge mess behind) as well as the exhaustion that comes with taking care of something. I also adore (now and when I was little) the scale of everything: the mouse in relation to the cookie, the tiny box for the mouse to sleep in, etc. All in all, a whole lot of fun!

  • Chris

    If you give a mouse a cookie, he's probably going to poop all over your kitchen counter. When's he's done pooping all over your kitchen counter, he'll probably take up residence in your pantry, invite his girlfriend over, and have himself a nice little family in a matter of weeks. He's certainly NOT going to do all of the cute things that this book suggests.

    Last night I read this to my son and then tucked him and his fifteen stuffed animals (one of which is most likely a mouse) into bed. Then I

    If you give a mouse a cookie, he's probably going to poop all over your kitchen counter. When's he's done pooping all over your kitchen counter, he'll probably take up residence in your pantry, invite his girlfriend over, and have himself a nice little family in a matter of weeks. He's certainly NOT going to do all of the cute things that this book suggests.

    Last night I read this to my son and then tucked him and his fifteen stuffed animals (one of which is most likely a mouse) into bed. Then I went downstairs, spread a dollop of peanut butter on a mouse trap, and placed it on the kitchen counter.

    1:00 AM: [email protected]#

    This morning I tossed the dead mouse into a trash bag and set another trap. Tonight I will again read this book to my son and then we'll probably sing the Mighty Mouse theme song.

    Last year (when I was less skilled at setting mouse traps) I was running around my driveway with a shovel trying to end the misery for a mouse who had nearly ripped his leg off trying to escape the trap. My nosy neighbor, who was returning from picking his son up from school, asked me what was going on. I explained that our house was infested with mice and I was on a mission that day to kill them all whether by trap, shovel, or bare hands. His son didn't like the look on my face and turned to go into his house. That's when I noticed his Mickey Mouse book bag and matching lunch box.

    Troy Patterson (of

    ) once said this: "A literal pest has become the cuddliest critter in the world, and that, to paraphrase Walter Matthau, exemplifies the worst aspects of marketing that make America great." They are not cute. They are not heroes. They are the exact fucking opposite of that. But I must say that my son really does like this book.

  • Manybooks

    Although I do have to admit that Laura Joffe Numeroff's

    is a cute and entertainingly sweet enough little story (and I also realise that young children often tend to much love cumulative tales and perhaps even guessing what might occur next, what might the next scenario be), personally (and having first read

    as an older adult in my late 40s), I am left more than a bit underwhelmed and unmoved (as even Felicia Bond's accompanying illustrati

    Although I do have to admit that Laura Joffe Numeroff's

    is a cute and entertainingly sweet enough little story (and I also realise that young children often tend to much love cumulative tales and perhaps even guessing what might occur next, what might the next scenario be), personally (and having first read

    as an older adult in my late 40s), I am left more than a bit underwhelmed and unmoved (as even Felicia Bond's accompanying illustrations seem rather unspectacular and much too gaudy and cartoon like, even rather strangely unrealistic for my personal aesthetic tastes).

    For I guess I just generally do much prefer stories (and even with regard to picture books for younger children) that have a bit more substance and plot, that have more of an actual story to them with conflicts and resolutions. And while I could well and definitely imagine reading

    aloud to a small child or to a group of small children (and that this could and would likely be a hit, a major audience success), I also would most likely not all that much enjoy having to read

    repeatedly or rather being asked to read it over and over again (as I think this could rapidly become majorly tedious and annoying for me), but then again, considering that I also had similarly simple German language picture books with which I kind of tortured my parents and grandparents with my constant demands of having them read to me when I was very young, I probably should not be so overly and massively critical here.

  • David

    is the story of the perversity of desire, and more particularly the stunted pleasures of the

    . Written by the exquisite Laura Numeroff, in what can only be assumed was a violent passion for sterile aloofness from the society which she condemned, and a lust for concision which would socialize her treatise against the deadening wants, making it accessible to the masses. I can imagine her, unbathed, ignorant of her own hunger and thirst, cutting every insigni

    is the story of the perversity of desire, and more particularly the stunted pleasures of the

    . Written by the exquisite Laura Numeroff, in what can only be assumed was a violent passion for sterile aloofness from the society which she condemned, and a lust for concision which would socialize her treatise against the deadening wants, making it accessible to the masses. I can imagine her, unbathed, ignorant of her own hunger and thirst, cutting every insignificant word in a Flaubertian frenzy for

    .

    The titular titmouse is a scathing manifestation of our ruling, yet tirelessly servile, middle class – his small figure manifests the smallness of our self-worth, and the relative largesse of our smallest desires. Every visible aspect of the overall-clad hero hearkens us to the plight of the middle class in the late twentieth century. The mouse, like man, is easily won over to new “needs” – endlessly trying to fill the vacancy of his own heart, deadened by the loss of illusion, by the evaporation of virtue, and the brutal

    of routine. But as the significantly unnamed mouse usurps his pleasures and whims from his remote human benefactors, we too usurp our desires. Whether from the conspicuous consumption of the upper classes, from the romantic visions of novels and television programming, or from the simple white noise of broadcast advertising, which we subconsciously mold into our own desires – desires for things which we

    . René Girard identifies this parallel with chilling accuracy to our present condition: "

    ” It is easy to replace “bourgeois victim” with our murine hero, raising to idolatry his search for false desires, which leads to a parodically circuitous odyssey of “want.”

    Numeroff’s story is one of deceptive simplicity, but with a jarring impact. In less than three-hundred words, she is captures the movement of emotion of her literary predecessors, primarily of French origin, though also hearkening back to the Homeric epics. Proust, James, Balzac, Dickens are among Numeroff’s literary forefathers, and her precision for language shows a heavy influence of Flaubert, contemporarily manifest in the logical exactitude of Truman Capote and Ernest Hemingway. Take or example the opening sequence:

    Immediately we are drawn into a contained cosmos of desire – which is postulated in a hypothetical, though illustrated in an ever-present reality. While we are kept somewhat distanced from our mouselike counterpart by the conditional, we are drawn in by the seeming reality of the action, the omniscience of the narrator, an almost godly knowing, reminds us of a master Chess player, foreseeing the hero’s moves, up to his ultimate epiphany, from the first line. We are acquainted with the mouse with such immediacy, we feel we know him, we feel as though he is a part of us, or perhaps more than we are – despite his size. Though we are removed from the hero’s consciousness, we feel he is both naïve of his circuitous desires, but also disturbingly manipulative. This contradiction, this naïvete matched with perturbing self-possession, concerns the reader –

    We are moved, our uncertainty of the hero’s self-awareness is never satisfied. We observe the seeming naïvete and it enlightens us to our own short commings of self-awareness. “To see someone who does not see is the best way to be intensely aware of what he does not see” argued Barthes, and it is precisely the salient power of

    .

    The godless landscape of

    is one marked by a total secularization of morality and gratification. The parallels to our own secular society, in which we are diminished to figurative animals - beasts of pure will driven in the vain effort for satiety of our animalistic desires. Instead of a God, the world within the story is governed by a maternalistic hand - more reminiscent of Neo-Marxian doctrine of entitlement than it is to the classical Judeo-Chrisitan rule of centuries past. Instead of being ruled by virtue, or protagonist is ruled by the ever-demanding "want!" of his body. Cookies, milk, soft bedding, but no time for self reflection, no orison nor even secular gratitude is shared by our profane hero. We compare the mouse's struggle for "want" to the Defoe's struggle for need in

    , and we are dismayed at the descent from virtue of our present day society, in which our vices and excesses have supplanted our virtues and reservations.

    In his gustatory pursuits, we observe his coy glances, his polite demeanor, but ultimately his ingratitude. And what disturbs us as the reader is his humanlike disposition, his canny vanity, his concern with appearances and hygienic preoccupations, and his servility to routine. His look into the pierglass is so human that one expects to see our diminutive friend the next time we check for our own milk-mustaches – the parodic symbol of self-indulgence and minor fall from poise. The vanity implicit in our

    is startling parallel to our own fall from grace, manifest in Milton's

    . Despite his many pleasures, his many "wants" they are startlingly mundane to us, they are self-serving but unambitious. He foregoes the search for self-discovery, for transcendent pleasure, for the pleasures of immediacy, which feed his vanity and his comfort. His look into the mirror reveals to us a world of pleasures forgone, given up, in the vain restraints of society, with which he is disturbingly complicit. His concern for his milk-mustache, his imagined need for a haircut - a purely imaginary need for our rodent friend, one which is purely vain and removed from true necessity, disturbs us, but warms us to him. He is made more human to us, but that is precisely the element which disturbs us and makes us question our own vain pursuits.

    But our hero’s desires are manifold. What begins as a novel of unhealthy appetite of necessity and hunger, become a hunger for a higher appetite: the hunger for the aesthetic.

    What began as low hierarchical needs (according to Maszlow), rises with expediency to needs of self-realization in his pursuit for artistic expression. This passage is the greatest drop of the mask of our narrator revealing her greater purpose: to expose the mimetic nature of our deepest desires. Upon hearing the story, which we imagine is the very story we are reading – a classical representation of the meta-literary play often attributed to post-modern writers, and seeing the illustrations, he is moved by a previously unknown desire. Due to the constrained world in which the narrative takes place –a small house, presumably in the suburbs, a set-manifestation of the class so brutally satirized – we must consider this desire within the constraint of the story. What moves our hero to request a bedtime story? We can only assume it is a routine he has usurped from his benefactors, a further emulation of their posh lives which they take for granted. The story is so moving to the mouse that he is immediately affected. What author can claim artistic impulse in a void? Certainly no contemporary author is without his or her literary influences. Literature too is circuitous in its search for the truth: every author seeks the “answers” behind his characters, behind his plot, behind the meaning of his life’s work, but each author usurps his questions from his literary forefathers (or foremothers). Where is literature without Homer? Without Sophocles or Plato, Plutarch? The question we are never answered is what moved the unnamed author of the unknown bedtime story to write it? We know only that our

    protagonist seeks emulation of that art.

    ends with an almost Borgesian nihilism: “

    ” Thus desire begets desire, begets desire – the search for fulfillment is endless, and our hero is left always hungry for something new, but can never identify what that is. We are left haunted by this “children’s” story, but the foolishness of the petite protagonist, who wants big things – but those “big things” seem very small to us. It makes the reader turn in upon himself/herself and wonder: what do I want? And what is the ultimate path of my “wants”? Can I ever be fulfilled or am I resigned to the mazy route of routine-desire?

    Imagine waking up to realize the fruition of your ultimate desire is only the begetting of more desires? Desires of things which you

    ? Chilling.

  • ♥ℂĦℝΪՖƬΪℕÅ

    is an okay picture book, it's not a favorite of mine that's for sure but at the same time, it is really cute. I found this one to be a bit boring and it actually kinda annoyed me. The illustrations weren’t very colorful nor were they bold enough. The story does not have the deepest meaning, but overall... Meh, it's an okay book for children, I guess. I won't be reading it again though, once was plenty.

  • Jeremiah

    I know a ton of people love this book, but not me. The illustrations aren't horrible and neither are they uniquely memorable; moreover, the story is uninteresting and bland. What type of thought went into this book anyway? I've met Laura and she's a nice lady, but give me a break! The story is cute, but it is just a bland series of partially logical observations made by the author about this mouse.

    If Laura can come up with a book like this and publish it, then I have lost a lot of confidence in

    I know a ton of people love this book, but not me. The illustrations aren't horrible and neither are they uniquely memorable; moreover, the story is uninteresting and bland. What type of thought went into this book anyway? I've met Laura and she's a nice lady, but give me a break! The story is cute, but it is just a bland series of partially logical observations made by the author about this mouse.

    If Laura can come up with a book like this and publish it, then I have lost a lot of confidence in the quality of children's book out in the market-not too mention the motives of publishers (hmmm...money not quality). I could come up with something similar, so let me try (I might just publish it later).

    If you give a dog some food he might want some water. If you give a dog some water he might want a walk. If you give a dog a walk he might want a snack. If you give a dog a snack he might want a nap....get my boring drift.

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