The Smart Cookie

Publisher: HarperCollins

Cookie doesn’t get very good grades at school, and she doesn’t always understand what her teacher Ms Biscotti is talking about – in fact, she doesn’t feel very good about herself at all and longs to be a smart cookie.

However, one day when Ms Biscotti sets everyone a task to create something original and bring it in the next day, Cookie is inspired to write a poem and finds that she’s really good at it. Not just that, but when everyone shares their original creations, Cookie realises that everyone has something they’re good at, from making doughnut frosting art to engineering a cupcake sprinkle distribution machine, and that people can be smart in lots of different ways. When she reads her poem to her classmates, they love it, and Cookie starts to feel confident that maybe she can be the Smart Cookie she’s always wanted to be.

This sweet and pun-filled story about gaining confidence in yourself and understanding your strengths and learning styles is rather lovely. Pete Oswald’s fun, foody illustration is full of brilliant detail, and young readers will especially love all the spreads featuring cakes, gingerbread houses, bakeries and other yummy details that make the book super appealing. Yet, at its heart, it’s a story that will ring true to many children who find school difficult, and acknowledging their experience is important – as is reassuring them that, eventually, everyone can find the thing they’re good at.

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