The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School

( 3 )

Overview

When a class leaves for recess, their just-baked Gingerbread Man is left behind. But he's a smart cookie and heads out to find them. He'll run, slide, skip, and (after a mishap with a soccer ball) limp as fast as he can because: "I can catch them! I'm their Gingerbread Man!"

With help from the gym teacher, the nurse, the art teacher and even the principal, the Gingerbread Man does find his class, and he's assured they'll never leave him behind ...

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Overview

When a class leaves for recess, their just-baked Gingerbread Man is left behind. But he's a smart cookie and heads out to find them. He'll run, slide, skip, and (after a mishap with a soccer ball) limp as fast as he can because: "I can catch them! I'm their Gingerbread Man!"

With help from the gym teacher, the nurse, the art teacher and even the principal, the Gingerbread Man does find his class, and he's assured they'll never leave him behind again.

Teachers often use the Gingerbread Man story to introduce new students to the geography and staff of schools, and this fresh, funny twist on the original can be used all year long. Includes a poster with fun activities!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Murray's first children's book, a spry, role-reversing story told through comic-book panels and buoyant verse, a gingerbread man is the pursuer, not the pursued: "I'm the gingerbread man,/ and I'm trying to find/ the children who made me,/ but left me behind." Cookie-related humor runs through both Murray's rhymes and Lowery's cartoons, as the gingerbread man—as dapper as he is determined—tracks a group of students through their school; after losing a toe, he visits the nurse: "I'll limp and I'll limp,/ as fast as I can." The gingerbread man's introduction to friendly, identifiable school landmarks echoes the experience of new students. Ages 5–8. (July)
starred review Booklist
"This title will leave kids giggling as they follow the sometimes dire consequences of the G-man's efforts to be reunited with his class. . . . This reinvention of a venerable figure is funny to the max."
Children's Literature - Lisa Kuehne
Fresh out of the oven, the Gingerbread Man is excited to experience the adventure of school. But when the class takes off for recess, he is left behind and his determination to hang with his class sets him up for a fun-filled adventure. His feelings are hurt and he feels rejected. Why would they leave him behind? To solve this mystery he makes his way through the school and becomes involved in encounters with staff such as: a coach, nurse, art teacher, and principal. Each person leads him closer to finding his class and when he sees all the missing Gingerbread Man signs posted, he finally realizes he was not abandoned after all—only left to cool. Murray does an outstanding job of combining positive thinking themes like those of The Little Engine That Could with the rhythmic beat of the Dr. Seuss books to make this adorable picture book for children. The illustrations by Lowery only add to this exciting adventure. To top off a great writing and illustration combo, there is even a poster inside. Reviewer: Lisa Kuehne
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—This comic-style story is told from the gingerbread man's point of view. Just as the timer dings and the cookie that the kids made is pulled out of the oven, the teacher calls "RECESS!" and they all run off. Readers follow the gingerbread man's journey to look for the children, told in rhyming couplets, as he encounters the gym teacher, the nurse (who mends his broken toe), the art teacher, and the principal. Eventually, he rejoins the students and is declared an official member of the class, complete with his own desk, chair, and cottage. With a little practice to get the beats just right, the text can be easily read aloud, and youngsters can be invited to chime in on the refrain: "I'm the Gingerbread Man/and I'm trying to find,/the children who made me,/but left me behind." A variety of fonts is used to indicate differences between speakers and the narration. The cartoon illustrations are primitive in style, but suit the story to a tee.—Maggie Chase, Boise State University, ID
Kirkus Reviews

In Murray's children's debut, when a gingerbread man made by schoolchildren gets left behind at recess, he decides he has to find his class: "I'll run and I'll run, / As fast as I can. / I can catch them! I'm their / Gingerbread Man!"

And so begins his rollicking rhyming adventure as he runs, limps, slides and skips his way through the school, guided on his way by the friendly teachers he meets. Flattened by a volleyball near the gym, he gets his broken toe fixed by the kindly nurse and then slides down the railing into the art teacher's lunch. Then it's off to the principal's office, where he takes a spin in her chair before she arrives. "The children you mentioned just left you to cool. / They're hanging these posters of you through the school." The principal takes him back to the classroom, where the children all welcome him back. The book's comic-book layout suits the elementary-school tour that this is, while Lowery's cartoon artwork fits the folktale theme. Created with pencil, screen printing and digital color, the simple illustrations give preschoolers a taste of what school will be like. While the Gingerbread Man is wonderfully expressive, though, the rather cookie-cutter teachers could use a little more life.

Teachers looking for a new way to start off the school year will eat this one up. (Picture book. 4-7)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399250521
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 7/7/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 71,980
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Murray a former teacher, began each school year with a unit in which kids would follow candy and crumb trails to find their missing Gingerbread Man. She lives in Toronto, Canada. This is her first book.

Mike Lowery lives in a tiny cottage surrounded by trees where he mostly just makes art. His work has been seen in galleries and publications internationally and he is Professor of Illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta. His daughter Allister loves it when he draws faces on their bananas.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 29, 2011

    Tasty Treat

    What fun! Laura Murray and Mike Lowery have put a fun new spin on an old classic. This book is a welcome new addition to the back-to-school canon. With fun rhymes, an introduction to school settings, and acceptance and friendship at its heart, THE GINGERBREAD MAN LOOSE IN THE SCHOOL is the whole package. Tasty, too.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2012

    Each year for my young son's birthday I look for two hardcover b

    Each year for my young son's birthday I look for two hardcover books to gift to him. This is a struggle- I am not vey impressed with most children's books. I love the rhyme and meter in this book, it's cutesy enough to entertain the (almost) 3 year old while long and involved enough that his 7 year old brother took a seat next to us to listen to the story through. The only complaint I have is the comic-style illustration. It's ok for the older children, and once we've read it a few times I'm sure, but at first it is a little confusing to kiddos who want to know which image corresponds with the words they are hearing. Reading comics to someone else is kind of frustrating.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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