Murray and Lowery’s cookie main character is back, this time doing his best to foil a March prankster.
“FO-FIDDLEY-FEE! / You can’t catch me! / For I’m on a leprechaun / mess-making spree!” With this announcement, the tiny, green-suited imp dashes away, a trail of shamrocks in his wake. He also leaves notes on green paper: clues that the Gingerbread Man helps the kids decode and that lead the class on a hunt for the mischief-maker. Together they put the music room to rights, but then the kids head to lunch, and the cookie takes up the hunt alone. The leprechaun’s next target is the library, where he accidentally leaves his hat. The Gingerbread Man beats the leprechaun to his next target and sets a clever Rube Golberg–esque trap. Trading the hat for a mess-free school, the Gingerbread Man saves the day. Lowery’s artwork—pencil, screen printing, and digital color—combines full-page illustrations with comic-style panels. While the boxed text and speech balloons are easy to read and follow on the page, not all the pictures are as simple to parse, though there are humorous details that will tickle readers. The class is a diverse one with a white female teacher (wearing glasses, natch), but none of the humans have personalities.
After this test of his tracking and capturing skills, what will the Gingerbread Man tackle next? (Picture book. 4-8)