If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

if you give a mouse a cookie tv show





Paul Asay

TV Series Review

Mice—most mice, at least—are not known for their savvy decision-making. I mean, it’s not like those scientific mazes are that hard. But if you’re a mouse created by children’s author Laura Numeroff, then you’re clearly a whisker ahead of the mousy masses. Why, you just might get your very own show on Amazon Prime. 

Mouse is clearly the star of the streaming service’s If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, a show that has been entertaining children since 2017. But it features plenty of other characters from Numeroff’s original award-winning books: Moose and Pig make plenty of appearances. Dog is the show’s most reliable source of comedy. And all play quite nicely with their human friends Oliver, Piper, Leo, Henry and Esme Louise.

Pretty much all the stories are predicated on Numeroff’s whimsical use of conditional statements: A question of if followed by then. (For instance: “If you give a television reviewer a keyboard, then he might use it as a cricket bat.”) And most episodes offer light lessons, too. A character might learn the importance of perseverence, perhaps, or discover that it’s OK to be sad.

And if the episodes are not quite as charming as the Numeroff’s delightful books (If You Give a Moose a Muffin was a favorite in our family), that merely speaks to the difficulty of switching media. As any biblophile knows, the book is always better—and that’s especially true when it comes to children’s books.

But while Goodnight Moon would make a lousy kids’ television series (without significant rewrites), If You Give a Mouse a Cookie makes for a pretty good one. Each 22-minute episode includes two separate stories that feel gentle and engaging. Amazon Prime labels the show as appropriate for all ages, and that feels just about right. The closest we get to violence here is perhaps a comical tumble into a mud puddle.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie does its best to capture the spirit of Numeroff’s stories while offering a more telegenic take on them, filled with low-scale adventures but next-to-no content concerns. If You Give a Child access to your Amazon Prime account and she chooses If you Give a Mouse a Cookie, then you both could do a whole lot worse.

Episode Reviews

Oct. 14, 2021: “The Haunted Toolshed/Backyard Obstacle Course”

Both episodes are jump-started by the question, “If you give a Mouse a cone …”

In the first, Mouse uses traffic cones to set up an impromptu soccer goal. But when Dog kicks the ball next to a shed—a shed that seems to be making lots of scary sounds—Mouse and the gang have to figure out how to get the ball back without running into any ghosts.

While there’s a great deal of talk about ghosts and haunted toolsheds (Dog declares the spirit must be a “monster alien vampire ghost”), the shed isn’t haunted at all: It’s just Moose playing some instruments in advance of his one-man “moose-ical.” Kids and animals do wear sheets, though (hoping the “ghost” might mistake them for fellow spirits). And when they discover the truth, the humans in the party react differently. “I am glad that there is not such thing as a real ghost!” Henry declares. “I find it a bit disappointing,” Esme Louise says.

In the second segment, Mouse takes a cone and uses it as a bullhorn, announcing an obstacle course contest during a Wildebeest Scout get-together. But when Henry goofs up during his first try through, he decides that he’s not just quitting the obstacle course, but quitting the scouts, too.

Henry falls into a big pool of mud at the conclusion of the course. And while he’s physically fine, he sadly makes his way home. But when Dog lands on a roller skate and careens through plenty of dangerous obstacles, Henry finds himself flying after him—and in so doing, he navigates all the same sorts of obstacles that the course threw at him.

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Paul Asay

Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

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