The plucky Gingerbread Girl is back in her second outing, this time trying to save an animal-cracker menagerie from the wily fox (The Gingerbread Girl, 2006).
For her birthday, the old couple who baked her give the Gingerbread Girl what she has always longed for—friends like her to play with. But no sooner is the wrapping off than they are out the door. As they run through the countryside, collecting pursuers as they go, individual cracker animals add their own rhymes to the refrain: “I’m strong and I’m fast, / Though I smell like vanilla. / You can’t catch me, / I’m the cracker gorilla!” Ernst’s text pages and spread borders are softly colored gingham, the animal-cracker train escaping the illustrations to parade through the text, while those chasing line up in sepia tones across the top. Clearly communicated emotions add much to the story, from the untrammeled glee the crackers feel in their newfound freedom to the suspense that builds as the chase nears the river and the waiting fox. In the end, some quick thinking on the part of the clever girl helps her new friends escape her older brother’s fate.The girl heroine, large trim size, catchy rhymes and repeating refrain make this one sure to be a popular choice for group readings…just don’t forget the animal-cracker snack. (Picture book. 3-6)