From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2?A new edition of a well-known tale. The text has been slightly altered: all the characters are animals, beginning with the baker, who is a mother mouse. Each page of text faces a full-page acrylic painting. The illustrations' composition, viewpoint, and strong colors are offbeat, almost mannered, and children are likely to find them baffling. The Gingerbread Man himself appears to be a flat cutout, lacking features, and is usually the smallest object on the page, belying his importance to the story. In one picture, the river appears to be a pond, and literal-minded readers will wonder why the cookie doesn't simply go around it. The purple mother mouse looks menacing, and the hedgehog looks more like an elephant shrew on a bad hair day. The relationship between the text and pictures is an uneasy one: creatures appear that aren't mentioned in the text, and none of the animals appears to be chasing the runaway morsel. There are 17 other versions of this story in print, including Eric Kimmel's The Gingerbread Man (Holiday, 1993) and Paul Galdone's The Gingerbread Boy (Clarion, 1979). Either is a preferable choice, although large collections might want to add Rowe's as an example of the inspiration a classic tale can provide an artist.?Pam Gosner, Maplewood Memorial Library, NJ
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
``Ha ha ha, hee hee hee, I'm the Gingerbread Man and you can't catch me!'' taunts the fleet-footed cookie. Across the fields he scurries, challenging and outdistancing all comers until he meets his match in the sly old fox and fulfills every good cookie's destiny: to be eaten. This English folktale still has zip, and its lead player is still infuriating, the kind of guy readers are only too delighted to see devoured (or parodied, as a Stinky Cheese Man). This book is a welcome addition to the burgeoning gingerbread shelf, with Rowe's luxurious acrylic illustrations, saturated with great plains of bold color. The Gingerbread Man's targets are appealing characters in settings that often contain an eccentric touch or two: the mice's piebald house, strange trees, skies that look like a plague of locust are passing through. As for the cookie, he's a faceless little cutout who could be genetically related to Gumby, a ridiculous windbag richly deserving of his fate. (Picture book. 3-6) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.