How do dinosaurs eat cookies?

How do Dinosaurs Eat Cookies? by J. Yolen

Yolen, Jane. How do Dinosaurs Eat Cookies? Illus. Mark Teague. New York: Scholastic, 2012. Print.

If you have ever set foot in the children’s section of a public library or bookstore, you will likely recognize the dinosaur on the cover of this book. Yolen, a much-lauded author who has also penned science fiction and fantasy, has over 300 children’s books to her name and is the author of How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?, How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You? and many others in the wildly successful How Do Dinosaurs… franchise created by bestselling author Jane Yolen and illustrator Mark Teague.

The familiar classic dinosaur characters from Yolen and Teague’s books try their hands at baking and eating cookies while learning some ‘cookie etiquette’ along the way.  While Yolen’s prose is fun and lively, in general the images of the dinosaurs have been ‘re-purposed’ from other titles in the series save for the addition of a cookie here and there. The book is also marketed as a scratch-and-sniff and according to the Scholastic web site, includes 3 cookie recipes.  Sadly the 5 scratch-and-sniff scents have almost no scent at all, even in a brand new copy with minimal scratching, and there are only 2 recipes included.  If your young readers are excited about the scratch-and-sniff potential they will be sorely disappointed.  The recipes look easy enough and will be fun for kids to assist with in the kitchen but you will require dinosaur-shaped cookie cutters (not included) to get the full effect.

There is no denying, however, the uniqueness of Mark Teague’s illustrations as well as his award-winning talent.  The dinosaurs are realistic-enough looking to get slightly older kids’ attention but friendly enough for the younger set.

The sturdy board-book binding, smaller size and aesthetic design make for an attractive book but the displeasure in the quality of the scratch-and-sniff and the general feeling of ‘I’ve seen this somewhere before’ is reason enough to bypass this title.

Not Recommended: 1 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Debbie Feisst

Debbie is a Public Services Librarian at the H.T. Coutts Education Library at the University of Alberta.  When not renovating, she enjoys travel, fitness and young adult fiction.