"I am the Gingerbread Baby,
Fresh from the pan.
If you want me,
Catch me if you can!"
That sassy cookie! When Matti opens the oven door just a little too soon, out pops a gingerbread baby instead of the gingerbread boy he was expecting. Eluding all efforts to catch him, the flat, becandied baby is chased around the village and into the countryside. He mercilessly taunts Matti's parents, a cat, the milk and cheese man, goats, villagers, a fox, and more. In a less traumatic twist on the classic Gingerbread Boy story, this Gingerbread Baby even outfoxes the fox. Sure he's bratty, but he doesn't deserve the gruesome end the Gingerbread Boy usually comes to. Matti makes sure this naughty but appealing little one ends up right where he belongs.
This fresh-baked version of the traditional nursery story is brought to you from the creative and award-winning ovens of Jan Brett. Best known for such favorites as The Mitten and The Hat, she has illustrated many other familiar folktales. Her intricately detailed paintings, with their pretty, illuminated borders, are a perfect fit for the Swiss mountainside setting of this cozy old tale. And don't miss the Gingerbread Baby plush! (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
Brett (The Mitten; Comet's Nine Lives) presents a rather wordy and wandering version of "The Gingerbread Boy." Impatient for the gingerbread man to bake the full eight minutes that is specified in the cookbook, Matti opens the oven door prematurely and a doughy baby jumps out instead: "I am the Gingerbread Baby,/ Fresh from the pan./ If you want me,/ Catch me if you can." The cherubic child remains at home while his parents and a smattering of animals lead a cumulative chase through the Swiss countryside, depicted in minutely detailed pictures. Within the artist's characteristically intricate borders, windowlike cutouts shaped like gingerbread cookie cutters reveal Matti's activities at home: he bakes, constructs and decorates an elaborate gingerbread house, which he then places in a clearing in the woods. Well ahead of his pursuers, the fugitive cookie discovers the elaborate structure and happily takes refuge inside. The grand finale allows youngsters to lift a flap shaped like the gingerbread house to uncover its new resident, smiling and winking. Brett's fetching art offsets her rather facile narrative in a book likely to please her faithful fans and holiday gift shoppers. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.