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The Difference Between Babies & Cookies

The Difference Between Babies & Cookies

5.0 1
by Mary Hanson

Are babies really as sweet as cookies? Do they really smell like whipped cream? In this charming picture book told from a child's point of view, a wise-beyond-her-years older sister sets the record straight: Mom may think her new baby is as warm as a ray of sunshine, but in truth—though we love them anyway—babies come with their


Are babies really as sweet as cookies? Do they really smell like whipped cream? In this charming picture book told from a child's point of view, a wise-beyond-her-years older sister sets the record straight: Mom may think her new baby is as warm as a ray of sunshine, but in truth—though we love them anyway—babies come with their own set of rules!
Mary Hanson's gently humorous text is accompanied by Debbie Tilley's hilarious illustrations in a warmhearted family tale that will tickle babies, their siblings, and busy parents everywhere.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A girl debunks myths about babies in Hanson's (Snug) humorous primer for siblings. Early on, Tilley's (Riddle-Lightful) springy watercolors present mother and daughter admiring the seemingly innocuous infant ("Mom says babies are as sweet as cookies"). Next, an illustration shows the baby knocking over a glass of milk as the sister nervously grips the high chair ("But I learned that you cannot dip them in milk"). When the mother cradles the baby in her arms, exclaiming, "Babies are as cuddly as puppies"), the child responds, "They drool more." The pattern continues, but midway through the book the illustrations begin to change tone. After mom opines that babies are as playful as tiger cubs, Tilley pictures the narrator caught in the act of painting tiger patterns on the baby's solesbut it's clear she and the baby have been having fun. Grins replace the grimaces, and everyone beams in the family portrait that appears in the end: "I'm just glad I'm here to help take care of our baby," says the child. "She shouldn't grow up thinking she's a cookie." Ages 3-7. (May) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
In this twist on the familiar "Now you're a big brother/sister" book, a big sister learns that babies are not exactly what her mother had told her they would be. Before the new baby arrives, her mom tells her that "babies are as sweet as cookies" and "as wiggly as worms," but she learns subsequently that "you cannot dip them in milk" and you shouldn't "try to catch fish with them." Likewise, while babies may be "as hungry as bears," they aren't hungry enough to eat mooshed peas, and while babies may sometimes "smell like whipped cream," they may sometimes smell like, well, like something else. Tilley's large, expressive pictures are filled with the smiles, wails, annoyingness, and adorableness of babies, as they sleep, spill, crawl, poop, drool, giggle, and play. But while the text does create some amusing contrasts between expectation and reality, it's often hard to believe both that Mom would have offered the anology in question—e.g., that Mom would really have told her daughter that "babies are as playful as tiger cubs" (is this a helpful simile for the average suburban child?)—or that her daughter would really have taken it so literally—e.g., as an invitation to paint orange-and-black stripes on the baby's bare feet. Still, young readers will get a lighthearted introduction to analogies here, and the big sister's persistently over-literal misunderstandings should appeal to Amelia Bedelia fans. 2002, Silver Whistle/Harcourt,
— Claudia Mills
School Library Journal
PreS-K-In this duet, Mom is continually comparing the new baby to sweet and positive things. On the flip side, big sister refutes each claim or adds qualification to the comparison, reminding readers that infants can be a real handful. "Mom said babies are as cuddly as puppies." "They drool more," the older child comments. "Mom said babies are like sunshine on a rainy day." "Especially when they're covered in mud." It's clear that the girl adores her new sibling; it's just that Mom is the idealist and she's the reality check. The layout is consistent and effective. The mother's ideas are presented on the right-hand page so that readers must turn it-the perfect comedic pause-to hear and see the retort. This creates a sense of anticipation. Through the illustrations readers see the baby grow, from highchair to crawling and finally walking. The watercolor illustrations help set a light and breezy tone. A loose black line defines open-faced, cheerful characters. Readers' views of the scenes remain up close; everything feels sunny and friendly, with plenty of innocent humor. On the final page, Dad appears in the framed portrait of this loving and supportive family unit.-Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A little girl responds to her mother's description of babies with an alternate point of view. "Mom said babies are as cuddly as puppies," but older sister finds that "they drool more." Even though babies have cheeks as rosy as apples, "you can't give your sister to your teacher." The illustrations are tight, close-up watercolors of roundheaded, button-eyed kids-baby sister often just in her diaper-in candy colors and expressive, lively line. The illustrations play off the text in nifty ways, too, as in: "Mom said babies smell like whipped cream"-and the reader turns to a double-paged spread of an entirely grossed-out sibling saying, "Don't count on it." Baby's little feet at the edge of the picture frame indicate just exactly which regular activity is taking place. "Mom said babies are gifts from the angels" is the caption for a picture where Baby kisses her pleased older sister, but: "I don't know where Mom gets this stuff." There's plenty of love between older and younger sister, so the effect is both funny and charming making this a great new addition. (Picture book. 3-7)

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 10.00(h) x (d)
Age Range:
3 Years

Meet the Author

MARY HANSON is a former librarian and the author of Snug. The Difference Between Babies and Cookies is her first book for Harcourt. She lives in Santa Barbara, California.

DEBBIE TILLEY is the illustrator of Hey, Little Ant by Phillip and Hannah Hoose. She lives in Escondido, California.

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The Difference Between Babies & Cookies 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Sunflower6_Cris More than 1 year ago
After my daughter was born, we got this book from the library and my son thought it was the funniest book. He was able to relate (from a 5 year old perspective) to this book and his baby sister and how it feels to be an older brother with less attention.