Cookie and Broccoli: Play It Cool

Dial. (Cookie & Broccoli). Oct. 2021. 80p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780593109090; pap. $7.99. ISBN 9780593529188.
K-Gr 3–Broccoli and Cookie want to impress Cucumber, leader of the Cool Crowd. Cookie’s hokey pokey dance and Broccoli’s math brain teaser are not enough to earn them membership, so Broccoli argues that Cucumber isn’t cool, either, resulting in Cucumber stepping down from the Cool Crowd. This morality tale about popularity and influence takes a refreshing turn as Cucumber revels in his newfound freedom and Broccoli stresses out as the new leader of coolness. As it turns out, being too cool to laugh at anything funny just isn’t very enjoyable. A line about gluten-free and organic cookies being cool will land differently from reader to reader. Although the setting for many pages is a gray horizon line, the anthropomorphic food crowd and their variety of dialogue and speech balloons lend a lot of color and expression to each page.
VERDICT Readers get a powerful, relatable lesson in the kind of coolness that matters: dismantling unfair systems for everyone’s benefit.

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