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Gingerbread Baby

Gingerbread Baby

4.2 9
by Jan Brett

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Jan Brett's highly original version of the Gingerbread Boy story has quickly become a family classic. Now, the charming tale of Matti's clever trap for the runaway Gingerbread Baby is available as a beautiful board book for younger readers. And it still features a surprise lift-the-flap gingerbread house at the end!


Jan Brett's highly original version of the Gingerbread Boy story has quickly become a family classic. Now, the charming tale of Matti's clever trap for the runaway Gingerbread Baby is available as a beautiful board book for younger readers. And it still features a surprise lift-the-flap gingerbread house at the end!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Once again, Brett has given her own special spin to a classic. (Booklist)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Brett (The Mitten; Comet's Nine Lives) presents a rather wordy and wandering version of "The Gingerbread Boy." Impatient for the gingerbread man to bake the full eight minutes that is specified in the cookbook, Matti opens the oven door prematurely and a doughy baby jumps out instead: "I am the Gingerbread Baby,/ Fresh from the pan./ If you want me,/ Catch me if you can." The cherubic child remains at home while his parents and a smattering of animals lead a cumulative chase through the Swiss countryside, depicted in minutely detailed pictures. Within the artist's characteristically intricate borders, windowlike cutouts shaped like gingerbread cookie cutters reveal Matti's activities at home: he bakes, constructs and decorates an elaborate gingerbread house, which he then places in a clearing in the woods. Well ahead of his pursuers, the fugitive cookie discovers the elaborate structure and happily takes refuge inside. The grand finale allows youngsters to lift a flap shaped like the gingerbread house to uncover its new resident, smiling and winking. Brett's fetching art offsets her rather facile narrative in a book likely to please her faithful fans and holiday gift shoppers. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
The joyous journey of a jaunty gingerbread boy is served up deliciously in this book. Set in the Alps, this is Ms. Brett's own version. It could be an operetta starring the clever cookie boy who escapes all who try to catch him. He pulls the braids of Martha and Madeline, tweaks the nose of the milk and cheese man, escapes the fox and runs right into a luscious gingerbread house made especially for him by the boy Matti. The colors, the setting, and the fun and energy of this confection will stir you to make your own gingerbread men and house.
Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-One might ask if there is a need for yet another retelling of "The Gingerbread Boy." If it's this version, the answer is "yes!" Although the story remains true to the original tale, Brett has added her own touches and a surprise ending. The gingerbread baby slyly eludes both humans and animals, including the wily fox. It takes a very clever little boy to outwit and catch the spicy treat. The illustrations are pure Brett and feature warm colors against a snow-white landscape. The expressive human and animal forms carry this rollicking tale along to its conclusion. Many of the pages have intricate frames depicting scenes from the story and cookie-shaped cutouts that will delight youngsters. Because this story has more characters than other versions, the author cuts some of the repetition to preserve the fast pace. Of course, the familiar refrain "Catch me if you can!" will have little ones joining in and rooting for the gingerbread baby. A delightful confection.-Barbara Buckley, Jericho Public Library, NY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Board Book Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.15(w) x 5.00(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
1 - 3 Years

Read an Excerpt

Gingerbread Baby



Copyright © 1999

Jan Brett
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-399-24166-3

Chapter One

"Can we make a gingerbread?"
Matti asked his mother.
"Yes," she said, and lit the stove.
Matti got down the cookbook.

They mixed the dough, and Matti rolled
it into the shape of a gingerbread boy.
They popped him in the oven.
Tick, tock. Matti peeked. Too soon!
Out jumped a gingerbread baby!

"I am the Gingerbread Baby!
Fresh from the pan.
If you want me,
Catch me if you can!"

The Gingerbread Baby ran
around the kitchen. The door
opened and in came Matti's father.
The Gingerbread Baby ran out,
shouting, "Catch me if you can!"

He ran by the cat. She sprang at him.
They rumbled and tumbled,
but the Gingerbread Baby came out on top.

The dog ran after him. The Gingerbread
Baby climbed over the wall, shouting,
"Catch me if you can!"

Matti stayed at home looking at
the cookbook. He heard his mother
and father yelling, the cat meowing
and the dog barking.

The Gingerbread Baby ran into the barn.
He raced across the goats' backs,
singing loudly, "Catch me if you can!"

The Gingerbread Baby stopped at the well
for a drink. Madeline watched him.
Martha tried to catch him.
But she was too slow.

He grabbed the girls' braids,
tied them together and ran off.

At home, Matti stirred, mixed and rolled
dough. He put it in the oven.
"I will catch him if I can." Matti said to himself.

The Gingerbread Baby jumped into a farm
wagon. A mama pig tried to catch him.
But then he jumped into the air,
twisted around and got away just in time.

"I am the Gingerbread Baby.
I am quick. I am fast.
I am clever. I am smart.
No one can catch me!"

Now the Gingerbread Baby came
to a bridge. All the villagers and
the animals raced after him. So he
jumped off, landed on a chunk of ice
and floated down the river.

"Look at me. And what do you see?
The best Gingerbread Baby ever!"
he sang, and jumped ashore.


Excerpted from Gingerbread Baby
Copyright © 1999 by Jan Brett.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Once again, Brett has given her own special spin to a classic. (Booklist)

Meet the Author

With over thirty four million books in print, Jan Brett is one of the nation's foremost author illustrators of children's books. Jan lives in a seacoast town in Massachusetts, close to where she grew up. During the summer her family moves to a home in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.

As a child, Jan Brett decided to be an illustrator and spent many hours reading and drawing. She says, "I remember the special quiet of rainy days when I felt that I could enter the pages of my beautiful picture books. Now I try to recreate that feeling of believing that the imaginary place I'm drawing really exists. The detail in my work helps to convince me, and I hope others as well, that such places might be real."

As a student at the Boston Museum School, she spent hours in the Museum of Fine Arts. "It was overwhelming to see the room-size landscapes and towering stone sculptures, and then moments later to refocus on delicately embroidered kimonos and ancient porcelain," she says. "I'm delighted and surprised when fragments of these beautiful images come back to me in my painting."

Travel is also a constant inspiration. Together with her husband, Joe Hearne, who is a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Jan visits many different countries where she researches the architecture and costumes that appear in her work. "From cave paintings to Norwegian sleighs, to Japanese gardens, I study the traditions of the many countries I visit and use them as a starting point for my children's books."

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Gingerbread Baby 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a teacher. We read lots of gingerbread stories and this by far was my class's favorite.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nana1950NG More than 1 year ago
This is a twist on the Gingerbread Boy story I grew up with. It is fun and energetic and keeps the kids entertained. The colorful pictures and old world traditional feel makes this a very special book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I use this for discussion with a group of 2 or more children. I made a small fabric gingerbread doll to go with the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gingerbread Baby is a traditional tale. This book puts a different story that follows the same theme as the Gingerbread Man. Some of the same things happen throughout the story that happened in the original gingerbread man story. The little gingerbread baby says, ¿I am the gingerbread baby, fresh from the pan, If you want me, Catch me if you can.¿ Find out if the sly fox is the same one that catches the gingerbread baby or is it someone else. This is a traditional story. I really liked reading it. I found out that there is more than one story that has the same kind of theme as the gingerbread man. This book would be suitable for grades 1-4. The author Jan Brett was born in Massachusetts. She still lives on there on the seacoast. She spends her summers in the mountains where she does most of her writing. Most of Jan¿s books have to do with animals or nature. Brett, Jan. Gingerbread Baby. New York: G.P. Putnam¿s Sons, 1999.
Guest More than 1 year ago
We first discovered this book at our local library and my 4 year old daughter just fell in love with it! It has become one of her most requested bedtime books. The pictures are wonderful and the story is enchanting, much the same as 'The Mitten'.