Angry Cookie by Laura Dockrill
Ill. by Maria Karipidou. Walker Books, 2018. ISBN 9781406383089
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Anger. Friendship. Confronted by an angry Cookie from the start, the reader will be in no doubt about the theme of this book. We are told in no uncertain terms, not to open the book, not to turn the page, and not to try to do anything about his anger. With that, Cookie escapes up the stairs to his bedroom. But then he peeps around the door, apologetically, a little chagrinned about his outburst. Over the next few pages we ﬁnd out why Cookie is angry. His best friend, the cactus, plays his recorder badly, a pigeon tries to snack on him, he has had a bad hair cut, his toothpaste runs out and he must use his parent's toothpaste which is not to his liking, in fact, his whole day goes awry. But he peeps again at the audience and realising that we are all still there listening to him, deduces that things can't be that bad. He is surprised that the reader keeps coming back despite his bad temper and anger, and concludes that the reader is there because he is a friend and that's what friends do. Young readers will readily empathise with Cookie, recognising the bad events that can happen to them all.
The humour behind the illustrations will have broad appeal to the reader, the simple Cookie expressing his emotions with small changes in the mouth, eyebrows, and eyes. I loved looking at the pictures ﬁrst to see just how Cookie is going to react on each page before reading the story. Young readers will enjoy Cookie's exploration of what makes him angry, and like him, realise that a friend can make all the difference to how you feel. This is a perfect conduit to class discussions about feelings, anger and friendship.