In this Tex-Mex-flavored retelling of “The Little Gingerbread Man,” Señorita Gordita, a little corn cake, puts the pedal to the metal as, “with a flip and a skip and a zip-zoom-zip,” she leaves Javalina (a warthog), Crótolo (a rattlesnake), and other desert creatures—who all want to eat her—in the dust. Señorita Gordita is sure nobody can catch her, but one very smart creature has a trick up his sleeve. Ketteman playfully mixes English and Spanish throughout the book, making it a perfect selection for bilingual families, new Spanish speakers, and anyone who enjoys a delicioso variation on an old favorite. As with Rubia and the Three Osos (2010), by Susan Middleton Elya, this includes a Spanish glossary to support English readers. The desert landscapes, digitally designed by Terry, embellish the high-spirited and spicy chase, which ends with a few wise words: “Being zip-zoom-fast is good” but “being smart is better.” Ends with a recipe for gorditas. Grades K-3. --Angie Zapata
From the Author
I remember so well the story of The Gingerbread Man. I loved the refrain - "Run, run, as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!"
So when I wrote Senorita Gordita, my goal was to make my own refrain at least as fun. Spanish is a beautiful and musical language, and I had a good time with the characters and the words.
I think it's important for everyone to know at least some Spanish, whether or not it's in your own cultural background, because knowledge promotes understanding, and the more we all understand each other, the better off we'll be.
One problem with The Gingerbread Man is that the main character gets eaten in the end, which can be a bit traumatic for the young reader. Many versions of this story have been written, some with the main character being eaten, others with the main character NOT being eaten. I chose to stay with the traditional ending, but gave it a twist which I feel can lead to a discussion about being smart and using your smarts, which I think is always important. Being smart means making smart decisions.