Eli Makes Cookies portrays a grandmother lovingly introducing her very young grandson to the art of baking, encouraging him to explore ingredients while showing him how to use kitchen tools appropriately. This book models kindness.
Another book about exploration by Jeanette Gray and Elizabeth Gray Earl, Eli Makes Cookies takes place in Eli's grandmother's kitchen. The book portrays a very tactile experience, showing Eli touching sticky dough, tasting sour cream and working with cookie cutters.
What I especially love about Eli Makes Cookies is that Eli's grandmother doesn't hover at all, but lets Eli try
things that could result in a mess, for the sake of his development and the experience.
For instance, she lets him carry eggs and pour sugar, two things with the
potential to cause a whole lot of clean-up. Eli's grandmother is able to look
past what is convenient or standard practice to do what is actually best for
her very young and very curious grandson. Throughout it all, though, she
provides the support and help that Eli needs in order to succeed when trying
those new skills (while letting him carry eggs, for example, she has one hand
on the box for support). Talk about the opposite of helicopter parenting!
There's also a yummy sugar cookie recipe in the back of the book to encourage parents to bake with their own children after reading it.
Essentially, Eli Makes Cookies is a very sweet book about a shared baking experience between a curious toddler and his loving grandmother.--DLG