It all begins when Matti opens the oven too soon and out jumps a cheeky little Gingerbread Bay. He leads Matti's mother and father, the dog and the cat. And a whole colorful cast of characters on a rollicking chase through the village and into the forest, staying just out of reach, daring them to catch him along the way.
But Matti's not with them. He's at home in the borders making what turns out to be a gingerbread house into which the Gingerbread Baby runs. Only Matti knows he is safely inside. And readers will too when they look under the lift-the-flap gingerbread house at the end of the story, and there he is!
About the Author
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."
Read an Excerpt
By JAN BRETT
G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS
Copyright © 1999
All right reserved.
"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
by JAN BRETT
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
Once again, Brett has given her own special spin to a classic. (Booklist)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I am a teacher. We read lots of gingerbread stories and this by far was my class's favorite.
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.
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.
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.
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'.