summertime book of the week…of cookies and community

Cascade Falls, photo Ingrid Swanson

Cascade Falls, photo Ingrid Swanson

Summer is finally creeping out of the cellar here in the North. We went camping last week in our favorite ever campground, Cascade River State Park, between Lutsen and Grand Marais, MN. There were still patches of snow in the woods, and overnight temperatures dipped into the 20s which meant serious bundling up in the tent! But…oh, so much beauty,

Dutchman's Breeches, photo Ingrid Swanson

Dutchman’s Breeches, photo Ingrid Swanson

and even a few brave wildflowers.

When summer rolls around, I feel the need for a bit of a blogging break.Rather than reading stacks of children’s books, I hope to enjoy my kids who will be home now and then, soak up as many days at Lake Vermilion as possible, work on some other writing projects, go berry picking, gaze at all the green-ness around me and be thankful.

I’m planning on blogging one title a week for the summer. I have a stack of superb picture books, most of them brand new this year, that I can’t wait to alert you to, and I hope to highlight some older chapter book gems as well.

Today’s title is…

who put the cookies in the cookie jar cover imageWho Put the Cookies in the Cookie Jar? by George Shannon, pictures by Julie Paschkis

…and this is one glorious book!

When you grab that lip-smacking, mouth-watering Chocolate-Chip-Oatmeal Cookie, or a crumbly slice of Raspberry Almond Shortbread, you reap the benefit of many hands at work.  How many different people had a part in putting that cookie in the jar?

Of course, there’s the baker, but thinking deeper and broader, there’s also the workers who made the cookie sheet, the farmers who raised the dairy cows, and the laborers who harvested the sugar cane. There are truckers and grocery store workers. When you think about it,  there are also people who are needed who put the cookies in the cookie jar illustration julie paschkisto take care of these bakers and harvesters and factory workers.

There’s a world of creative work in that one cookie! What a marvel.

Although there is something deeply satisfying in a picture of pioneer independence — growing the wheat, raising the hens, churning the butter, firing up the wood stove, responsible for each step of the process — there is also a great beauty in the worldwide marketplace that we could do a much better job of noticing and appreciating. That’s the joyful anthem in this short, exuberant, book.

who put the cookies in the cookie jar illustration2 julie paschkisJulie Paschkis’ gouache illustrations are outstandingly joyous, beautiful, and warm. Her multicultural people are wonderfully handsome, beautifully clothed, and gorgeously distinct.  Her folk art motifs and a generous helping of charming cookies bring homespun loveliness to each page. Her highly stylized images remind me of the WPA murals we saw in the Coit Tower in San Francisco — that curvy, strong, solid, vitality fills the scenes. Gladsome through and through.

As a bonus, there’s a sugar cookie recipe to bake together. Yum! So much fun to cut out and decorate. And eat!

New this year, and sure to bring a smile to anyone from 2 to 100.

Here’s the Amazon link:
Who Put the Cookies in the Cookie Jar?