HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Look Cookers!
Author: Jim Malloy
Illustrator: Hannah Stephey
Publisher: 3 Dreams Creative Enterprises, 2015
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 5-10
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Malloy, Jim. The Look Cookers! (published in 2015 by 3 Dreams Creative Enterprises, P. O. Box 8931, New Fairfield, CT 06812). What are “Look Cookers”? It is the first day of school. Matthew is a normal boy in every way but one. He’s a secret agent. But not just any kind of secret agent. Matthew is an eye spy! Because he is shy, he does not like eye contact and imagines that anyone who looks at him has special powers to see through his eyeballs into his brain. They are the Look Cookers. As Matthew gets on the bus, he meets all kinds of them, such as Glance Dancers, Blink Drinkers, Gawk Stalkers, Peek Seekers, Stare Darers, Gape Scrapers, and, the worst of all, Sight Biters. How will Matthew cope? What secret weapon does he bring to help him make it to school without being “cooked”?
Even though this book, which won a Mom’s Choice GOLD award, is set on a public school bus, The Look Cookers! speaks to the fears of all young children, especially shy ones, when they are faced with a crowd of other youngsters for the first time. It is a wonderful story, with cute and somewhat whimsical text by Jim Malloy and fun, colorful illustrations by Hannah Stephey, that uses a sense of imagination and adventure, along with a good dose of humor, to assist kids in dealing with difficult emotions and mustering the courage needed to overcome challenges. They’ll learn that it’s okay to be shy. The first in a series of “Matthew—The Eye Spy Secret Agent” tales, it will be followed by Return of the Look Cookers.