Kimmel, Eric A. The Gingerbread Man. Ill. by Megan Lloyd. New York: Holiday House, 1993. ISBN: 0823408248
A decorated gingerbread man surprises his creators, an old woman and old man, and leaps off the table, goes out the door and down the road. He has the same chorus for them as he does for the animals he runs past, “I’ll run and run as fast as I can. You can’t catch me. I’m the gingerbread man!” Unfortunately, the gingerbread man meets a sly fox at the river’s edge and accepts his help in crossing to safety. Perhaps he would have fared better with the horse, cow, dog, sow, old woman, and old man!
The gingerbread man is a lively character and each page of this book has quick action. The gingerbread man is always running with someone in hot pursuit! The lovely watercolor illustrations by Megan Lloyd really add to the feeling of action. The old man can be seen lying on his belly outside his back farmhouse door. You can almost feel that the gingerbread man has just escaped the man’s grasp.
The retelling and illustrations with the fox also add to the action. As the gingerbread man moves up higher and higher on the fox to avoid getting wet, the story moves along quite quickly. Thankfully for young children, this variant of a traditional tale does not end on a sad note because the gingerbread man will be back when someone bakes gingerbread!
The simple and large illustrations make this an excellent read-aloud book. The illustrations, likeable characters, and repetitive sing-song chorus will delight listeners hearing this story for the first time or twentieth time. I read this book to my nine year old son and he laughed out loud!
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: “Lloyd’s illustrations work in tandem with the text to create verve and motion while maintaining a ‘fresh-from-the-oven’ appeal.”
BOOKLIST: “A compact text and suitably large pictures make this just right for groups.”
*Also retold by Kimmel
Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock. ISBN: 9780823407989.
Anansi and the Talking Melon. ISBN: 9780823411672.
Seven at One Blow: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm. ISBN: 9780823413836.
*A gingerbread man version:
The Gingerbread Cowboy by Janet Squires. Illustrated by Holly Berry. ISBN: 9780060778644
*Make some gingerbread cookies as a class or if this is not possible have individually wrapped store bought gingerbread as a snack.
*Use book to discuss parts of a story: characters, plot, setting, and theme. Also make predictions.
*Take the characters the gingerbread man ran from and have students sequence them in the order they appeared in the story.
*You could also sequence characters from The Enormous Turnip by Alexi Tolstoy. ISBN: 978-0152048433.