“The Gingerbread Man” mixes it up with “The Night Before Christmas” in this cleverly constructed Christmas story about a smart cookie who avoids becoming Santa’s midnight snack.
“ ’Twas the night before Christmas, / And there on a plate, / Was a Gingerbread Boy / Awaiting his fate.” Using the rhyme scheme and meter of “The Night Before Christmas,” the story describes the Gingerbread Boy’s fear as he anticipates Santa’s arrival. As he nervously waits, two boisterous puppies burst into the room, knocking down decorations and ornaments. The Gingerbread Boy springs into action, distracting the dogs by spinning on a large ornament until Santa’s arrival. Santa and the cookie clean up the mess, and Santa rewards the Gingerbread Boy for his thoughtful help by asking him to come to the North Pole as his night watchman. The rhyming verses are pitch-perfect in their cadence, with snappy rhyming pairs and bouncy energy just like that of the overactive puppies. Bold illustrations with a variety of perspectives include lots of close-ups of the Gingerbread Boy, drawing readers into his dilemma. The supersized horizontal format and capacious, mostly double-page spreads make this a natural choice for reading to a large group, but it would also work well for a family on Christmas Eve.
A successful mixture of two classic ingredients yields a sweet Christmas treat. (Picture book. 3-6)