While we usually like to read true-to-life stories, we love all versions of The Gingerbread Man . I was excited to see this new tale at the library yesterday. Last evening I read it to four of the grandchildren (ages 8, almost 7, 5, and 3). They LOVED it and so did I.
The gingerbread man in this story lives at number 398.2 on the library shelves. He escapes and is chased by the librarian and characters from other books he passes. He shouts his traditional rhyme as he runs from each of them. Charles was thrilled to see Amelia Earhart as he read about her only last week. Wesley just finished reading Abe Lincoln's Hat so he liked that Abraham Lincoln was pictured. And interestingly, so was Harriet Tubman, who we read a biography about only a few weeks ago.
A variety of sections of the library are represented and their "addresses" are listed. It gave us a chance to discuss the call numbers of the library and how they help us, just like our address, to find a particular book we want. This book would be a great lead-in to a unit on the library.
After reading the story, we discussed the ways this book was similar to the many other Gingerbread Man stories we have read. We also talked about the differences.
I stopped a couple pages from the end and told the children we would finish the book the next evening. YIKES! What a reaction! "NO! NO!" " Finish it NOW!" were the shouts I heard. I laughed and finished the book. Of course, I wanted to know how it ended too. But I was tempted to stop and let the children take some time to write how they thought the story might end. But we were reading this just before bedtime so it was not a good option. So when you get this darling book, consider reading it earlier in the day and including this idea for a creative writing exercise. By the way, we DID like the ending and it was not what we expected.
The illustrations by Colleen M. Madden are large and colorful and delighted the children. Thanks to Dotti Enderle for a wonderful story of a favorite of ours.
For those in the Janesville, Wisconsin area we found the book at Hedberg Library. Of course, we plan to keep it for awhile yet, but you can put it on hold.