Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School, by Laura Murray (ages 4 - 7)

Children love listening to the wild chase in the classic folktale The Gingerbread Man, and many teachers read this folktale and its variations to preschool and kindergarten classes. I was thrilled to discover The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School, by Laura Murray - it combines a fun story with great rhyme and rhythm, one that will be perfect for reading aloud at the beginning of the year!
The Gingerbread Man Loose in the SchoolThe Gingerbread Man Loose in the School
by Laura Murray
illustrated by Mike Lowery
NY: G.P. Putnam's 2011
ages 4 - 7
available at your local library, favorite bookstore and online at Amazon
As he tells in this delightful story, the gingerbread man is put together by a classroom full of kids. But as soon as he comes out of the oven, the children all go outside to recess. And so begins a familiar chase, but this time the gingerbread man is chasing the class, instead of the familiar animals chasing him!
"I'm the gingerbread man, and I'm trying to find
the children who made me, but left me behind!"
Laura Murray combines good-natured humor with lively, dynamic rhythm and rhyme in this story that begs to be read aloud. The gingerbread man's adventures take him on a tour of the school: to the gym, the art room, the principal's office. In each place, he meets the teacher who helps him follow his class. This story lends itself perfectly to kindergarten classes just getting to know their new school, or preschoolers looking ahead to a larger school. In fact, Laura Murray has a great collection of related activities on her website. At its heart, though, this book will be a favorite because of the great read-aloud quality to the language that Murray has used.

Mike Lowery's art also has great appeal, with panels and drawings that draw on comic book traditions. Kids will enjoy the bright colors and funny drawings, which fit both the folktale and school themes. The drawings are detailed enough for repeated readings, but are not overly busy and crowded. They are perfect for this audience and story.

I purchased the review copy from one of our local independent bookstores: Diesel Books in Oakland, always with a great selection of new children's books.

Review ©2011 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books.

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