Reviewed by John Z. Upjohn, USMC (Aspired)
I’m going to come out and say it: this so-called “book” is a scam. I was looking for a children’s storybook when I bought this book, and it was listed as a storybook. But it is not a storybook. You pay for a storybook, and instead you get a heaping pile of nothing. It should not have been sold as a storybook if it doesn’t contain a story.
A story is defined as a series of things that happen but nothing happens in this so-called “story”. Literally nothing, from start to finish. The first word of the book is “if”. It says:
“If a hungry little mouse shows up on your doorstep, you might want to give him a cookie. And if you give him a cookie, he’ll ask for a glass of milk. He’ll want to look in a mirror to make sure he doesn’t have a milk mustache, and then he’ll ask for a pair of scissors to give himself a trim.”
At first I thought it was just a little wordy for a prologue, but the whole book of If You Give A Mouse A Cookie goes on like that, talking about what might happen, if you do this first thing, and these other things happen. Page after page. 40 pages of this hypothetical crap. I read this whole book to my children, and every time I turned the page I hoped that the story would start but every time it was just more of that hypothetical garbage.
It’s a damned shame, too. I think my kids would have loved hearing about a mouse sweeping the house and then sleeping in a tiny box, but that never happened! None of it ever happened! It was all a ridiculous what-if scenario!
A story is supposed to answer the question “what-if” but the question should be left off the page because if it’s on the page then you don’t have a story at all!
I have a what-if scenario for the authors of this book: what if they had written exactly the same book, with the same events and the same pictures, but instead of saying “If you give a mouse a cookie” they just said “You gave a mouse a cookie, and then all this stuff happened.”? What would happen then? I’ll tell you what: it would have been a story, and people would be able to be entertained and amused by it. But since they didn’t do that, there’s no story.
How people can fail to understand the very simple fact that telling the same sequence of imaginary events in a slightly different way makes the difference between it being a story or not is beyond me. It is so obvious,
Yet I have heard this fraudulent scam of a “story” praised to the high heavens from all quarters. Once I got over my shock of having read 40 pages of nothing to my children—who, troopers that they are, made a polite show of being engaged and amused even as nothing actually happened—I started to wonder what could account for its supposed popularity.
Troubled, I reached for the book I always reach for in times of crisis, the one book that holds all the answers to life’s mysteries. Every conservative household should have at least one copy of Rules For Radicals in order to recognize Saul Alinsky’s tricks. Liberals are obsessed with that guy.
After a few hours of study, it seemed obvious to me that there must be an agenda at work, and as soon as I knew there was an agenda I could see it everywhere. It’s so easy to see agendas I’m surprised more people don’t do it.
The reason that SJWs have arranged for this hollow mockery of a book to be praised by all quarters is that it is basically a modest proposal for welfare benefits to immigrants. It starts by asking you the reader to imagine a mouse just shows up on your door unannounced and says he’s hungry, and then suggesting that you feed him. The words like “if” and “might” make this sound so polite, so reasonable. The rhythm of the book is I believe intended to lull the reader into a daze where you will nod along. “Makes sense,” you will say to yourself. “If a bunch of hungry vermin want to invade my home, why shouldn’t I give them the food off my table?”
This is the same kind of mind control technique utilized by Stalin and the Nazis. SJWs are modern day Fascists. They hide this fact by calling any conservative politician who calls for even slightly fascist policies a Fascist even though it is a historical fact that Fascism = leftism.
What really seals the deal for me is the way the book comes full circle at the end. It starts with proposing that the mouse might be given a handout of a cookie and milk and then it ends a day later by pointing out that the series of events set in motion by that handout require the mouse to be given yet another handout. You wouldn’t even have to be a halfway good storyteller to turn this into a chilling cautionary tale but this book isn’t even a story, it’s propaganda. So the natural consequence of a nanny state that welcomes all comers is presented as something whimsical and fun.
Well even the worst liberal hogwash can still be useful for teaching children to recognize liberal hogwash. If you do read this book to your children I suggest a discussion period after so you can point out what’s actually happening: how the narrator is subtly suggesting that you should do this thing as if it were your idea, but the result is that you have to give the mouse another cookie and another glass of milk every day and all you have to show in return is a perfectly clean house and surprisingly good artwork.
This is a good opportunity to each your children the value of the dollar, too. The cookies cost basically nothing because your wife can just make them for free anytime, but tell your children how much a gallon of milk costs and help them calculate how much an eight ounce glass of it would cost, then remind them that once you let the mouse into your house you would be paying this every day while the mouse contributed absolutely nothing to the household except keeping it clean and making it beautiful.
Which again is something your wife should do for free.