Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The Gingerbread Man Loose at Christmas

Murray, Laura (Author)
Lowery, Mike (Illustrator)
Penguin Random House 2015. 32 pages
First published: 2015
ISBN: 9780399168666 (hardcover)
9780698173750 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, setting, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

When the whole class decides to make presents to celebrate the season of giving, the students’ gingerbread mascot wants to contribute and, armed with glitter and glue, makes a card for the baker who helped his class make him. Everyone heads out to distribute treats: the students sing a song for a police officer, thank the librarian and give out hugs a-plenty. When the Gingerbread Man realizes he still hasn’t delivered his gift, however, he dashes off “as fast as I can,” leaving his class behind. Alas, he is soon hobbling along—“My icing was dripping, my legs were just dough”—but soldiers on to the bakery. His creator is moved by the card and by his looming disintegration, which she solves by giving him dark-chocolate boots. Written in carefully metered rhyme, and using different-sized fonts, the narrative is accessible and playful, with just enough suspense to make the “warmhearted hug” of the reunited class at the end a relief.

The colour illustrations are bright and simply drawn, with solid colours, animated round-faced characters and plenty of fun details to notice, from the shops that line the main street, to the scissors on a school desk, to the teacher’s earrings. The rich narrative depictions feature a traditional gingerbread man, albeit dressed for the season in pants, scarf and a jaunty hat. The drawings include full pages, single frames and multiple smaller frames, attractively reminiscent of comic books.

  •  

    Take a look at the cover and endpapers. What do you think the story is about? Make predictions and adjust them after the story is read aloud.

  •  

    Choral read as your teacher repeats the phrase, “I’m the Gingerbread Man.” Help finish sentences by predicting the rhyming words.

  •  

    Discuss the illustrations and the purpose for the different fonts that are used.

  •  

    Make a list of things your class can do for others. Consider learning some Christmas songs and going carolling in your school or neighbourhood.

  •  Make holiday cards for people in your school or neighbourhood.
  •  

    Take a look at the cover and endpapers. What do you think the story is about? In small teams, make predictions and adjust them after the story is read aloud.

  •  Discuss which parts of the story are realistic and which are imaginative.
  •  

    Sketch a map of your school neighbourhood. How is it similar to or different from the map on the endpapers? Which neighbours could receive small acts of kindness on your part? What might these acts be?

  •  

    Discuss the book’s features and learn their names (illustrations, frames, bubbles, captions, fonts, etc.).

  •  

    Make Christmas cards for school helpers and neighbours or learn Christmas songs and go carolling in your neighbourhood just before Christmas.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To use creativity
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Ethics and Religious Culture
  • Music
  • Visual Arts