Published by HarperCollins on October 6, 2015
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 host ragged, but young readers will come away smiling at the antics that tumble like dominoes through the pages of this delightful picture book.
Most people born after 1985, the year IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE came out, remember this series fondly. Whether you only read the first book, the first 3, or had them all as a child, these books are still around and in popular memory today.
As it stands today, there are somewhere around 13 books in this series. 6 of these feature different characters, including the three I remember from my childhood; IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE (4.5*), IF YOU GIVE A MOOSE A MUFFIN (5*), and IF YOU GIVE A PIG A PANCAKE (4*).
There are also:
IF YOU GIVE A PIG A PARTY (3*)
IF YOU GIVE A CAT A CUPCAKE (4.5*)
IF YOU GIVE A DOG A DONUT (4*)
IF YOU GIVE A MOOSE A MATZAH (4.5*)
As well as several spin off books that just tell various story in the Mouse’s life such as (most of which I have not yet read myself):
IF YOU TAKE A MOUSE TO THE MOVIES (A Christmas special release 4*)
TIME FOR SCHOOL, MOUSE
IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A BROWNIES
IF YOU TAKE A MOUSE TO SCHOOL
MERRY CHRISTMAS MOUSE
Plus several recipe books based on the series.
What gives this series such a lasting impression on public memory? Lids love cute animals, and kids love food. Even adults can get behind both of these things. The books are easy to read, have beautiful art, and are just downright silly.
But I think the biggest part is the time in which they were released. If you think about 1985, that’s around the time most historians start the Millenial Generation (or nearabouts anyway, I’ve seen tons of different dates). We millenials are very attached to our childhoods and the pop culture we grew up on. We share those things with our younger siblings and now our children, holding onto the feelings they gave us.
As far as I’m concerned the IF YOU GIVE series represents our innocence and the hope we had as kids before everything began to fall apart. And that’s its biggest lasting power.
What was your favorite book in the series? What’s your favorite picture book from your childhood? Put them in the comments below and maybe we’ll talk about them next on this new feature, PAST PICTURE BOOKS.
From my shelf to yours,