Brett’s Gingerbread Baby skips in for his third story, this time celebrating Christmas in a Swiss Alpine village setting with a band of anthropomorphic gingerbread instruments.
The Gingerbread Baby’s human pal, a white boy named Matti, helps his cookie friend achieve his wish for his own band by baking and decorating a batch of gingerbread musical-instrument ornaments. The cookies all perform in the bandstand at the town Christmas festival in front of a large crowd of dancing townspeople in traditional costumes and friendly animals. A girl in a red coat points out that the instruments are really cookies, setting off an extended chase for tasty snacks, as in traditional versions of “The Gingerbread Man.” Matti turns the ornaments into little snowmen to hide them from the townspeople, and the Gingerbread Baby himself escapes and hides in the branches of the village Christmas tree, decorated with dozens of ornaments and sweets. The Christmas tree is a large pop-up feature within the last spread, constructed of laminated paper that should hold up to multiple Christmas seasons. Brett again uses her signature style of ornamental borders and side panels to extend the story, with borders of frosting and candies and panels including dancing children of different ethnic groups.
Fans of Brett’s intricately detailed illustration style will find this a sweet treat. (Picture book. 4-7)