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The Joys of STOP AND SMELL THE COOKIES by Gibson Frazier and Micah Player

Five Questions with Gibson Frazier, Author of STOP AND SMELL THE COOKIES

From idea to pub date, how long did it take to cook up your book? 

[Gibson Frazier] I think I was approached by Penguin Random House to write a book for them in November 2016, but then there was a lot of turnover with editors in the kid’s department, so it didn’t come out until July 2022.  Too long, in my opinion.  But there WAS a global pandemic in there.  And it was my first book, so I really didn’t know what to expect.  I’m just thrilled it’s out and people can read it.  The response has been fantastic.

Describe your book in 3 words.

[GF] Mindfulness.  Peace.  Cookies.

What “ingredients” make a kidlit book “delicious” to you?

[GF] Equal parts imagination, humor, and great characters; stir in generous portions of unforgettable artwork; add moral to taste, for depth.

What book evokes a strong memory for you? 

[GF] Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman  I had totally forgotten about the book until I stumbled across it when my son was born and I read everything to him.  Then I was immediately sent back to my childhood.  I remembered all of those pictures, the humor, the implementation of “the rule of three” with the “Do you like my hat?” sections.  All those dogs having a party in the tree.  I loved it.  Still do.

What is one way you are like your book's main character?

[GF] Sometimes my emotions feel bigger than me, but I’ve gotten better at smelling the cookies and blowing out the candles and getting control.

Two Questions About the Book with Audrey and Gennie

What’s your favorite ingredient of this story?  

[Audrey Perrott] I love the refrain and the gentle mindfulness of the story. The writing structure really helps the reader feel what it's like to be Dash, building tension expertly. I especially love that it subtly teaches kids to pause through the structure of the story, and then in the end quite literally gives readers practical steps to take a beat. My brain is on hyperdrive a lot, which can lead to physically feeling jittery, and I am a big fan of "Smell the flower, blow out the candle" method, which felt beautifully familiar with a sweet twist in this book. Not to mention the illustrations are incredible! Perspective, palette, and pacing is chef's kiss.

[Gennie Gorback] My favorite ingredient is the main character, Dash. Like Dash, I often got in trouble as a kid for talking too much, shouting out in class, and struggling with impulse control. But what’s really special about this book is that the reader sees that Dash feels terrible that his impulses sometimes take over his body. Dash isn’t a bad kid… he just needs to remember to stop and smell the cookies. 

What food did this story inspire you to make? 

[AP]  My friend Gennie (yes, this Gennie!) gifted me MOO HOO cookie cutters so I couldn't wait to try my family's sugar cookie recipe with them. It's incredibly fitting since MOO HOO is the first manuscript I queried when I decided I really wanted to pursue traditional publishing. It took some big life-changing, scary stuff in my life to jolt me to "stop and smell the cookies" or in my case, pursue a lifelong dream.

[GG] I used a chocolate chip cookie recipe that I developed over the first six-or-so months of our Covid lockdown in 2020. You could say this was my emotional support cookie recipe.

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1 Comment

Lindsey Hobson
Mar 13

Another great post! Love the recipes (and the MOO HOO cookie cutters!)

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