Back to School Picks: Gingerbread Man

Age: 3-55-8 Theme: Back to School

09.01.21 • 9:00 am EDT | 0 responses |

The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School by Laura Murray and illustrated by Mike Lowery

Send out an alert! There’s a Gingerbread Man, fresh from the oven, baked from scratch by a class and he’s an escapee! Well, not really. But he is on the loose.

Starting in a school kitchen, he’s assembled from the traditional list of ingredients, popped in an oven pan and with a timer’s ding, he emerges as THE GINGERBREAD MAN!

Friends, this is one loyal cookie in hot pursuit of the class as they bolt for recess. He is hot on their trail with his mantra:

“I’ll run and I’ll run,

As fast as I can.

I can catch them! I’m their

Gingerbread Man!”

Traditionalists may remember the original “Gingerbread Man”, appearing first in 1875 in St. Nicholas Magazine. Baked by a little old woman and little old man, he runs away and is pursued by a group of farmers, cows, horses and finally, his taunting phrase blows in the wind, saying:

“Run, run as fast as you can,

You can’t catch me I’m the Gingerbread Man”.

And this gingerbread gent is brought to a halt by a wily fox offering the runaway a ride on his back!

A smack of the jaws and lips is his sad demise. Tasty but true!

Here, the Gingerbread Man is the pursuer not the pursued – a refreshing take on the fairy tale of old. It uses engaging rhythm and rhyme as did the fairy tale, but with a fresh take on the classic original. He gingerly (did I just say that?) pursues his bakers. This turnabout presents him as one smart cookie, using the same plucky resourcefulness as the 1875 runaway, but losing a foot in the process! At least he didn’t have a fox to contend with .He is running to something and not away from!

His unflagging desire to be reunited with his classmate bakers takes him on an all day odyssey involving the gym teacher nurse, art teacher and finally, of all places, the interior of a brown bag lunch! Luckily for him the principal, the brown bagger, is not in the mood for a cookie!

Informing him of a slew of missing poster signs with his likeness attached and scattered about the school, brings this ginger getaway man to a happy reunion with his bakers. No sad ending for him. Parents, as a suggestion, may just want to read the original fairy tale as a bookend with Ms. Murray’s take on “The Gingerbread Man”.

In this ending, just to be on the safe side, the class in his absence has baked the Gingerbread Man a cozy gingerbread home, complete with desk and chair! This Gingerbread Man is going nowhere!  Kids will warm to this cookie mascot of a classes’ own creation and his unflagging pursuit of his bakers.

Now what were those ingredients again? Maybe I’ll make some hermits. They’re less likely to run away!


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