Cookiesaurus Rex | Wolfe Stew Review

The cover of "Cookiesaurus Rex" next to a book case with text overlay announcing a Wolfe Stew Review.

The comical characters, surprising ending, and permeating creativity of this book will charm you and your learner, too!

This Wolfe Stew Review includes:

Target Audience

Anyone who loves eating, making, or even looking at sugar cookies. 

    • Wolfe Stew recommendations:
      • Read aloud to children ages 3 to 6 
      • Read independently for ages 7 to 10.
    • Accelerated Reader rates its:
      • Independent reading level at 1.4, or about halfway through first grade. 
      • Interest level at Kindergarten to Third grade.
    • Lexile rates it as AD310L or read aloud to 4-5 year-olds with independent reading beginning the middle of first grade.
    • Amazon customers suggest it is appropriate for ages 1-4.

Leader/Learner Descriptions

Print these pictures. Then, display the "learner" card on a suggested reading bulletin board and paste the "leader" card in a folder to remind you of this book when you're planning a related lesson.

Cookiesuarus Rex book cover next to a description for teachers.

Cookiesuarus Rex cover with a description for students..

Book Details 

Artwork Description

Comical, colorful, and expressive. AG Ford's watercolor and paper illustrations provide an engaging opportunity to take a picture walk through the book. Encourage your learners to note the expression on the faces of each cookie. What are they feeling? What else is in the picture? Do the objects that are drawn make sense? What are they used for? Without reading the words, what do you think is happening in this scene?

Setting

A modern day kitchen counter and cookie tray.

Main Characters

  • Cookiesaurus Rex – An opinionated sugar cookie shaped like a tyrannosaurus rex. 
  • Baker/Decorator – While the only visual of this character are the hands and a small portion of the face, a humorous personality shines through in the interactions.

Point of View

A first-person narrative from Cookiesaurus Rex's perspective with a few interjections from other cookies. Text appears in speech bubbles. 

Conflicts

  • Cookiesaurus vs. The Decorator: Both have a vision. The struggle is to see whose vision wins in the end.
  • Character v. Self: At each interaction, both Cookiesaurus Rex and the decorator must decide whether to keep fighting or surrender.
  • Character v. Society: The cookie audience watches as expectations of the cookie/decorator relationship crumble.

Themes

Control 🎮 
Artistic Expression🎨

     

*Our Favorites*

*Asterisks alert potential spoilers.

*Characters*

  • The Mr. is on Team Cookiesaurus. "He is just trying to be who he wants, and the decorator won't let him!"
  • The Mrs. is on Team Decorator. "This decorator has a sense of humor! And, in the end, shows everyone who's the boss."

*Quote*

  • The Mr.: "No one messes with the Ninjabread Dino!"
  • The Mrs.: "Ha-ha. I'm quacking up."

*Scene*

  • The Mr.: The scene that goes with my favorite quote, of course. A fierce Cookiesaurus Rex, decorated as a ninja, is ready to fight with toothpick in hand! My students loved this part best, too.
  • The Mrs.: At the end, when proper balance is restored and the power struggle ends. Cookiesaurus Rex, now licked clean, appears bare and angry in the middle of the cookie sheet as the cookie audience voices their approval.

     

About the Author

To keep with the theme, I'm imaging what type of cookie I would make for each contributor to this book. Play along! After giving your learners these examples, have them make a cookie to represent themselves, a historical figure in history, or a character from a book.

  • Amy Fellner Dominy (author) would have a cookie shaped like a stage (She's a playwright...) featuring cacti (...who lives in Arizona...) embellished with hearts (...and also writes teen love novels).
  • Dave Evans (coauthor) would have a school-shaped cookie (He's a teacher...) scattered with short, thoughtful phrases (...who designs greeting cards...) embellished with magnifying glasses (...and dreams of being a secret agent).
  • AG Ford (illustrator) would have an NAACP image award trophy-shaped cookie (He's won it, twice!) that's holding onto a pencil (So he always has one handy to sketch out his ideas until they feel right.) and wearing a cowboy hat (He's from Texas.).
References:
    1. Cookiesaurus Rex biography page
    2. Their individual websites: Dominy, Evans, and Ford
    3. A group interview by The Children's Book Review

    Vocabulary and Comprehension Questions

    Vocabulary

    1. rex (n) - king
    2. prehistoric (adj) - a time before history was written down (or recorded)
    3. stinks (v) - really bad; awful
    4. gloppy (adj) - thick, almost liquid; usually gross
    5. tricky (adj) - does not follow the rules; hard to trust

    *Comprehension Questions

    1. When Cookiesaurus Rex first decorates himself, what does he become? (ANSWER: Super Cookie!)
    2. Fold a paper in half vertically. Label one side "Baker" and the other side "Cookie". List the ways that Cookiesaurus is decorated by who decorated him. (ANSWERS: Baker: Tyrannosaurus Rex, Ballerina, Baby, Duck, Clown, and bare; Cookie: Super Cookie, Ninjabread Dino, and King.)
    3. Who do you think is the superior decorator? Use examples from your list to support your answer. 
    4. Based on the ways Cookiesaurus was decorated, what three words would the baker use to describe Cookiesaurus? What three words would Cookiesaurus use to describe himself?
    5. The book ends with Cookiesaurus saying, "This isn't over. This cookie doesn't crumble." What move will Cookiesaurus make next?

            Academic Activities

            • Art: Transform a cookie, or printed outline of a cookie, into different possibilities. Dialogue each iteration's opinion of its transformation in a speech bubble.
            • Writing: Rewrite the book from the perspective of the decorator by responding to each speech bubble from this book.
            • Comprehension: 
              • Draw your favorite scene and caption it. 
              • CAUSE AND EFFECT: Fold a piece of paper vertically. Label one side cause and the other effect. Record cause and effect statements throughout the book, skipping a line, or two, after each one. Then, cut along the vertical line and under each new statement to cut out each statement and separate causes from effects. Scramble them all up. Switch with a partner. Pair them up again. Check each other's work.
              • SEQUENCING: Recreate each of Cookiesaurus' forms (or list a name for each form). Cut them apart and have learners order them as they appear in the text.
            • SEL: Take an "emotion walk" through the book. On each page, identify the emotion each character feels based on their facial expressions. Discuss why they feel that emotion. Ask, "Which character's reactions match how you would feel? Would you feel something different?"
            • Research: Choose a topic to research like decorating tips or sugar cookie history. Make a poster (slideshow, mini-book, paragraph, etc.) to share their findings. Vary the expected number of facts based on learner ability/interest. 
            • Faith-Based Activities: 
              1. Who, in this book, most closely exemplifies God? Why? 
              2. Choose a verse to connect with a message this book communicates. Use Zechariah 3:4 as an example.
              3. Using a gingerbread cutout (or outline on paper) decorate a cookie the way that you imagine God sees you. For inspiration, if desired, read I Samuel 16:7, Psalm 139:13-16, and Matthew 5:14.

            Websites to Explore


            Before You Go, We'd Love to Know:

            • If you've read this book, what is your favorite version of Cookiesaurus Rex?
            • If you have yet to read this book, what other book reminds you of this one?

            We're looking forward to reading your thoughts! Leave a comment below or email us at mr@wolfestew.com or mrs@wolfestew.com.

            At Your Service,

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