Although this book does not represent the vast majority of methods used in today’s factory farming and massive production, it still has value. The message is not in how the ingredients for cookies are made but in how many people need to contribute in order for a cookie to come into being.
The book begins, “How many hands put the cookie in is what the world’s about.” We are shown the baker, the metalworker who makes the cookie sheet, the seamstress who sews the oven mitts, the farmers that feed and milk the cow, and on and on including those who contribute eggs, sugar, transportation, and sales. At the end of the book is a recipe for sugar cookies which mentions the ingredients shown in the book.
The illustrations are double-page spreads in folk art style. As befitting a children’s book, everyone is happy including the animals. While it does represent an ideal and nonexistent reality, the message of interconnectedness and interdependence is told in a way children can understand. After the title page, George Shannon has written this dedication, “With grateful smiles to Thich Nhat Hanh.” who is a profoundly wise Buddhist teacher.
This book is sure to stimulate some discussion on gratitude and how nothing or no one can exist without the support of others.