If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is a picture book written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond. When I first read this book years ago, I immediately went back and read it again because the story naturally loops back to the start. Each page talks about a mouse’s request and the consequences it follows. At the end, the request loops back to the beginning as the mouse asks for a cookie yet again, restarting the cycle of requests.
The story builds suspense by breaking up the dependent clauses from the independent clauses. On each page of the book, there is usually just either the dependent or independent clause of a sentence. Since most of the sentences start with the dependent clause, it forces the readers to look at the next page for the resolution of the sentence. Also, the texts are on the edges of the page to further dramatize the effect. Meanwhile, the story hangs in suspense for the audience. The story also moves rapidly with the mouse, further adding curiosity to the readers on what would happen next.
As for the pictures, the illustrator draws the mouse very small. This allows the readers to focus on the background. The scenes are always very detailed and are filled with vibrant colors, which add to the energy and the fast-paced plot of the book. In addition, there is always a mess that is left by the mouse, which adds to the unruliness of the plot.
For a lot of the times, the mouse is in the background in the middle of all the mess in the house. However, during the close shots of the mouse, the high energy of the character is clearly expressed by its facial expressions, which reflects the tone. This is contrasted by the neutral look of the boy, who never seems to have a strong feeling one way or another as a side character in this book.
Although the pictures may not be photo-realistic, the illustrations effectively captures the disarray the situation. The combination of vibrant and detailed backgrounds along with broken sentence structures effectively keep the readers excited on what the mouse will do next.