________________ CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 21. . . .February 3, 2012

cover

The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School.

Laura Murray. Illustrated by Mike Lowery.
New York, NY: G.P. Putnam's Sons/Penguin Young Readers Group (Distributed in Canada by Penguin Canada), 2011.
32 pp., hardcover, $19.50.
ISBN 978-0-399-25052-1.

Subject Headings:
Stories in rhyme.
Cookies-Fiction.
Schools-Fiction.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 2-7.

Review by Linda Ludke.

***1/2 /4

   

excerpt:

"I'm the gingerbread man, and I'm trying to find the children who made me, but left me behind."

"Your class turned the corner just minutes ago. Try asking the art teacher. Maybe he'll know."

"He's right down the stairs. You can take a quick ride. Just hop on the handrail it makes a great slide!"

 

In this clever twist on a classic tale, a gingerbread man tries to find the grade school class that made him. When the students leave for recess, the cookie pops out of the oven with pleas of "Please take me too! I want to be part of the class just like you - I'll run and I'll run as fast as I can. I'll catch them! I'm their Gingerbread Man." While he's searching the school halls, a wayward volleyball squishes him "flat as a pancake." The coach finds him stuck and directs him to the nurse's office. The tough little cookie declares, "I'll limp and I'll limp, as fast as I can. I can catch them! I'm their Gingerbread Man." He winds up inside the art teacher's lunch bag. After a quick thank you "for not taking a bite of my head," he heads for the office. Principal Peacock explains, "[T]he children you mentioned just left you to cool" and reunites him with the students from Room 23. The class invites the cookie to stay and presents him with a custom-baked desk, chair and house.

internal art     Fun to read aloud, the rhyming verse never falters. Listeners will want to chime in on the catchy refrain and the quirky plot will get lots of laughs.

      Mike Lowery's comic strip panel illustrations also offer lots of surprises, like a speech bubble ("It's pretty toasty in here") coming from the oven, floor plans of the school and "Missing" posters lining the hallways. The gingerbread man is a sweetly charming character decorated with an icing squiggle on his forehead and a dapper bow tie. A pull out poster of the "smart cookie" is included in a pocket on back cover. This added bonus also includes a recipe and extension activities.

      Fans of fractured fairy tales will eat this story up.

Highly Recommended.

Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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