When the class goes on a field trip to the fire station, the Gingerbread Man is carried along in a child’s backpack. He falls, unexpectedly, onto the snout of the firehouse dog, Spot the Dalmatian.
In emergency mode, the well-known cookie streaks athletically through the firehouse, with the hungry pup at his heels. “I’ll run and I’ll dodge, / As fast as I can. / I’m not a dog bone! I’m the / Gingerbread Man!” He runs past his classmates, who are trying on all the firefighting gear. The chase continues with an up-close view of the truck, the crew’s tightly made beds, the five-alarm chili cooking in the kitchen and, of course, the fire pole. When a true alarm blares, the little man jumps onto the fire truck for more adventures. Murray’s vigorous rhythms stay at full speed throughout, keeping up with Lowery’s action-filled illustrations. This duo debuted with The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School (2011), and this sequel doesn’t disappoint. With illustrations done in pencil, screen printing and digital color, the new makeover for the speedy gingerbread man succeeds despite a completely stereotypical fire station. Thankfully, female Fire Chief Anne rewards the little hero and his classmates with helmets from Company Four.
This rapid-fire reboot of a traditional favorite will be a requested read-aloud for high-energy listeners. (Picture book. 4-7)