THE GINGERBREAD MAN

The traditional tale meets the cast and crew of Mother Goose in an original take on an old favorite. From his humble beginnings in the home of “a little old woman and a little old man,” the Gingerbread Man leaps into the land of “once upon a time,” and the dangers presented by its hungry citizens. The tasty treat looks tempting to Humpty Dumpty, who is so hungry that he almost tumbled from his wall. Little Boy Blue wakes up wanting breakfast, while the frazzled Little Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe is wondering what to feed her children. Meanwhile, Little Miss Muffet is thinking that the Gingerbread Man would make the perfect end to her meal of curds and whey. But he manages to escape them all. As always, though, the Gingerbread Man meets his match (and his demise) in the sly fox who carries him across the river. Throughout it all, he utters his famous refrain, while underneath it the characters he has already escaped give chase. Readers will find something new with each look at the wonderfully detailed drawings. A round window in every other page previews the cookie’s next encounter and—a turn of the page later—offers a look back at the last character he escaped. This is a great way to reconnect children with familiar favorites in a fresh new setting . . . and parents with their children, as they use the recipe following the story to make their own gingerbread men. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 25, 2002

ISBN: 0-618-18822-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walter Lorraine/Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2002

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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