The gnome-filled fun continues in this companion book to Mayer and Horton’s charming Go Big or Go Gnome (2017).
Everygnome knows Ginger thanks to her curly red hair, but the spirited lass would rather be known for something else. When her friends Al and Gnorm remind her of the upcoming Winter Gnome Games, Ginger decides to compete to show the other gnomes that she’s much more than just awesome hair. “I can rock this!” The big day comes, and Ginger is ready. She shreds on her sled, she spins and zooms during the figure-skating competition, and she shows off her hockey skills during the curling event. Unfortunately, she doesn’t quite stick to the game rules at each competition. “Disqualified!” cries Englebert, the Grandmaster of the Gnome Games. Even readers not familiar with Mayer and Horton’s previous outing will guess what’s coming next, yet Ginger is likable enough to carry the story through its less-than-inspired second half. When a squirrel takes Al for an unexpected ride, Ginger steps up to save her friend, consequently earning the other gnomes’ respect and admiration (even the cantankerous Englebert’s). Featuring Mayer’s lighthearted narratorial voice, amusing details, and some returning characters, Ginger’s adventure also shares with its predecessor a bare-bones narrative and a nice if dull ending. Meanwhile, Horton’s dynamic illustrations continue to please with a diverse cast of gnomes—though the primary cast is an all-pale one—and scenes full of antics in winter wonderlands.
Enjoyable, though it has the feeling of a retread. (Picture book. 3-7)