Monday 1 November 2021


Cookie by Isabelle Duff & Susannah Crispe (EK Books) PB HB RRP $24.99 ISBN 978 1 925820959 

Reviewed by Karen Hendriks 

Cookie is small dog that arrives into Girl’s life when she needs a friend to tuck into a cuddle and help chase the sad away.


Isabelle Duff gently and sensitively explores sadness. It is a topic that is often misunderstood and it can be hard to understand. I particularly love that this story as told through the eyes of Cookie, a small dog. The perspective is clever and allows the use of simple language with a mix of short and longer sentences to great effect. Girl was warm and good to lick…And she had a ball. The child reader understands that feelings are being explored but the text cleverly matches their level of understanding and concept development. It shows that when sadness hangs around you can cope with love and understanding. Girl tried to play. But she was too sad. So, we cuddled instead. Cookie is a friend who takes Girl for lots of walks, shares cuddles, gives love, and licks her happy again. I helped so much Girl got happier. And everyone is happier when girl is happier. Especially me. The voice in this story is fresh and unique. It speaks clearly to the reader and delivers a strong message about how love and friendship can help you cope with sadness.


Susannah Crispe’s playful, pastel watercolour illustrations are a perfect match for this text. Her use of perspective which zooms in and out on Girl and Cookie depicts their strong bond of love beautifully. The personality of each character shines in their facial expressions and body movements. Crispe clearly understands that the unspoken speaks just as loudly to the reader. I love the spread that shows Girl and Cookie cuddling together when Girl is in a moment of sadness. There is much heart and warmth that shows the love of Girl and Cookie. The endpapers add to the story with the family scattered amongst the trees at the start of the book and together as a family at the end.


Cookie is a picture book for children three years and up that allows a child reader to take as much or as little as they need about sadness from this book. It is also a book for dog-loving families. Cookie is a wonderful resource to bring attention to depression and anxiety that can be used by parents, teachers or health professionals. Cookie is a picture book that is filled with much heart, hope and love that is well told.

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