A modern twist on “The Gingerbread Man,” with Fox chasing the Sugar Cookie Man through Christmastown.
The Land of Holiday Treats is peopled with smiling cupcakes, cookies, and other sweets that bustle through the festive town. The action begins when out of the Christmastown bakery flies a very cute cookie past Fox, saying “Run, run, as fast as you can! / You can’t catch me—I’m the Sugar Cookie Man!” Fox gives chase and catches up to him quickly only to discover, to the surprise of them both, that the Sugar Cookie Man isn’t sweet at all—instead, he’s a terrible-tasting, tough cookie. Fox tries to cheer the distraught baked good up with “sugary sweet Christmas carols” and by sprinkling him with sugar, to no avail. It turns out that the Sugar Cookie Man is actually a tree ornament and not meant for eating. In tone and style, this book is reminiscent of Lane Smith and Jon Scieszka’s fairy-tale retellings, though with less wisecracking. The fun is in the size of the round-eyed characters, the icinglike pastel colors, the layout and pacing of the storyline on the page, and the variety of candy and cookie characters, all smiling away. The author, a grandson of Ernest Hemingway, provides recipes for tough cookies (edible) and tough cookie ornaments (nonedible).
This sweet and silly story is about friendship and making the best of what you’ve got. (Picture book. 4-7)