He’s taught the world about addition and subtraction, executive function, and just exactly what starts with the letter “C.” But in his new book, The Joy of Cookies, Cookie Monster seeks to teach on a more philosophical level. The famed blue star of Sesame Street (the one that isn’t Grover, Rosita, Herry, or Mr. Johnson, that is) shares his thoughts on life, love, and friendship, and naturally, all of them contain cookies in some way. He shares such profound thoughts as, “Diamond is forever. Cookie is for now,” and “Stranger just friend me have not shared cookie with yet.” And occasionally, he’ll just lose his train of thought and ramble about cookies. (But if the book is about cookies, isn’t a cookie-related tangent still on topic?) And if all this talk of cookies gets you in the cookie-eating mood, there are three handy cookie recipes, all of which seem simple enough to make by baking novices as well as experts. (You know, when you get a craving for cookies, Cookie Monster wouldn’t leave you hanging.)

But in all seriousness, this is a fun read, and pretty profound in some spots. One saying sticks out in my mind, accompanied by a vegan, gluten-free, nut and dairy-free cookie recipe, to accommodate those with those particular sensibilities: “Every Monster Deserve Cookie.” In such a divided time, there was something about that that really spoke to me. Everyone, regardless of their status, race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability or disability, deserves a chance to taste of the sweetness of life. Love everyone and try to accept them for who they are. Try to accommodate those who are different. And maybe even bake them some cookies once in a while.

So what did I learn from this? Cookie Monster loves cookies, amongst other things. But there is something to take away from this. Cookie Monster talks a lot about sharing cookies. He shares the thing he loves most with the people he loves most. He also talks a bit about self-love. It’s okay to love things and be passionate about them. If you love cookies, that’s great! If you love comic books, that’s great too! If you love obscure Romanian plays about agrarian economies, hey, farm-business play it up! And if you love Muppets, check out ToughPigs.com! (Editor’s note: You don’t need to plug ToughPigs in an article on ToughPigs.) Don’t be afraid to love and to share your love. And let other people share their loves with you. You may find something that you didn’t know that you’d like.

All in all, this is a fun, fast read with a lot of cool photos of Cookie Monster and some advice from the heart and stomach. As the spring months give way to graduation season, this might be a cute gift for the graduate in your life. It’s got some good advice, provided you don’t try to eat the book. (But don’t worry, Cookie Monster did that for you.) It’s a celebration of love, friendship, and the joys in life. And as a certain fuzzy author might say… that’s good enough for me.

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by Matthew Soberman

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