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Tough Cookie by David Wisniewski, a Review

Picture books are an art form unto themselves. Although you may not realize it, they are highly regulated for size, page length, wording, sentence structure, and illustrations. As a librarian and a mom, I am always on the lookout for great books to read aloud. I found Tough Cookie on a library display in the Childrens' Room. I did not know it then, but it was my lucky day!

Tough Cookie was written by David Wisniewski who passed away ten years ago. I thought that I would commemorate the tenth anniversary of his death with a review of this book. Written like a Sam Spade PI story, this is a book that parents and children will love to read aloud again and again. The illustrations keep with the 1940s theme.

The story introduces the main character, Tough Cookie, a detective who lives in Cookieopolis. Quite literally a cookie jar metropolis where "Fingers" is the reigning bad guy. Tough's girlfriend is Pecan Sandy. The story is a clever spoof of 1940s detective stories and very well done. Give Tough the Humphrey Bogart Sam Spade voice over and you have all the makings for a very enjoyable story for kids and adults.

It is no surprise to learn that the book won the Parents' Choice Gold Award. This award is given to products that are of the highest quality and highest appeal in their genre for that year. Also of note on these awards, products must be free of bias and not extol violence. It is a seal of approval on products that parents can be sure are of excellent quality according to their website. Of course, I would recommend that all parents and librarians preview books before they are to be read aloud to children for a variety of reasons, but especially to be aware of what it contains. In the case of this book, you may want to perfect your best Sam Spade characterization before reading to your young audience.

Picture books are timeless. They can transport the reader to another place and time. They are fun to read, fun to see, and definitely not just for children.

I was not given this book, I checked it out of my local public library. It is still for sale online. I received no payment to write this review.

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