“One Smart Cookie” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Letters are sure fun to play around. You can read them aloud with Dr. Seuss or sing them along with Elmo.  But sooner or later children outgrow the alphabet games. The abstract symbols are just not enough for growing minds. Children need something more meaningful and that’s when they are ready for a discovery:  Letters are like bricks. Put a few bricks together and you can build a house. Put a few letters together and you can build a word. Now playing around with letters starts making sense. After all, “In the beginning was the Word.”

Word is a powerful tool. Words can touch us, teach us, hurt us, heal us… Words can make us cry or laugh. Knowing the right word, saying the right word, understanding the right word can often help us, if not save us in critical circumstances. It takes a lot of good word choices to make a good book. Sometimes it is just one right word that makes a story. Either way, if you want to teach your child more words, books are a great way to expand your vocabulary.

The picture book that I recommend today, is not only a delicious reading treat, but also a scrumptious pictorial dictionary.

“One Smart Cookie” is a luscious blend of a cookie recipe and chunks of life lessons for school years and beyond. Who would think that both, baking cookies and going to school, can be described with the same batch of words? Some terms, like curious, unprepared or diligentt are perhaps predictable,  but the author used more than a pinch of inspiration and a generous cup of creativity to add to the cookie dough such school-centered words like procrastinate,  ponder, arrogant or integrity.  One smart book!

Another book, or rather a very successful series that I would suggest for children working on their vocabulary is “Fancy Nancy” by Jane O’Connor. The only drawback of this cute read is that it won’t engage boys, who, as I imagine, don’t aspire to know fancy words for everything.

Luckily, there are plenty of books with unisex appeal. If your child likes learning new words and appreciates good humor, then you might want to read to them  “Terrific” by Jon Agee or “A Particular Cow” by Mem Fox. Both books have already been reviewed in details in my earlier posts.


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