Ben Yokoyama and the Cookie of Doom

Knopf. (Cookie Chronicles: Bk. 1). Mar. 2021. 304p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780593302750. POP.
Gr 3-7–Noodle lover Ben Yokoyama is at a Chinese restaurant for the first time when he gets a fortune cookie that says, “Live each day as if it were your last.” In Ben’s eight-year-old mind this means, “Today might be the last day of your life. Seize the day!” He creates a bucket list that begins with eating a frozen piece of cake that his dad has been saving for a special occasion. Ben is impulsive but thoughtful, and he frequently gets sidetracked and edits his list to accommodate other people, with hilarious results. His other tasks end up including his best friend, sticky notes, a scooter, apples, and blue paint on a cat. As he crosses items off his list, Ben learns about himself and the people around him. The husband-wife team of Swanson and Behr have created a fun, quirky character who shows empathy, love, and an exuberance for life that is fun to read. At nearly 300 pages, the book may intimidate some chapter book readers at first, but the illustrations fill as much of the page as the text does. This book is the first in a series that is sure to entertain.
VERDICT A good addition to any elementary school library. Highly recommended.

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