What do readers love more than books like Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! or Elephants Cannot Dance! by children’s author Mo Willems? Why, cookies featuring Elephant and Piggie (and let’s not forget Pigeon), of course! 

After a year of reading in the ONE TO ONE program, tutors and students at John Allison Elementary in Princeton were ready to celebrate and the local ONE TO ONE district coordinator, Dierra Maynard, was eager to help them do it in style.  

Planning started back in the spring – unexpectedly – at an International Women’s Day luncheon. At the event, out of all the delicious treats, Dierra found one particularly tempting. Finally, able to resist no longer, she deftly slid a cupcake (or more accurately) a purple peony on a bed of chocolate, onto her awaiting plate. It was as delicious as it was eye-catching.  

Dierra tracked down the baker, Janis Chase, to compliment her between bites and to see if she could do something special for the ONE TO ONE wind-up party. One of the most delightful things about small communities is how a gathering about one thing can lead to a connection for something completely unrelated. 

It was wisely suggested that cookies would be a better choice for smaller hands; Dierra’s imagination started spinning with thoughts Gerald the Elephant, Piggie and Pigeon. Janis snapped a few photos of the popular book characters, and a plan was made! 

On the day of the ONE TO ONE finale, fifty delicious and eye-catching cookies were ready! The over 35 tutors, students, and teachers in attendance were very impressed.  

Cookies and beloved critters, a new book to keep, and a few words of encouragement to keep up with their reading progress made year-end literacy goodbyes a whole lot sweeter. 

One student tried valiantly save the cookie and just eat around the picture, but eventually gave up and popped Pigeon into her mouth with a final sigh. In addition to playing literacy games like Bananagrams and Rhyme It, cookies featuring one of their favourite author’s characters were such a fun addition to the final day with the students.  

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