Cookie City: The Gingerbread Boy

The Gingerbread BoyI confess that I don't really understand the appeal of the classic story of the Gingerbread Boy. To whom are we supposed to relate? A cookie brat on the run? A crafty fox? The exhausted townsfolk? Enlighten me. I can't figure it out.

However, my little guy doesn't share my confusion. He loves Richard Egielski's The Gingerbread Boy. In this modern (and blissfully simple) retelling the sweet and spicy boy jumps out of an apartment window and is chased across New York City by rats, construction workers, subway musicians and mounted police. I admit that this pack would keep me running too! We see lots of familiar sites: subways, high rises, even the ubiquitous apartment clothesline. The fox, of course, lives in the zoo, where he can conveniently "help" the runaway across the pond in Central Park. Egielski's illustrations are bright and fun with detail-filled chase scenes so that even a jaded mom like me can get carried away with the action.

But I am still bothered by two things.: 1. You do not put icing on a cookie before you put it into the oven; and 2. Why is he a Gingerbread Boy, if he says "You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man." But that's just me.

Want more?
Explore SurLaLune's Gingerbread Boy website and learn about the story's history and other adaptations.
Visit the author's website.

Little Kid says: Run! Run! Run!


Christy said...

Rats? Ewwwww. Not sure I would like that version. We always spend a week or so on gingerbread activities before Christmas and we have read so many different versions of the classic story. We haven't read this one though. Maybe next year, if I can get past the rats. The icing thing would bug me too.

Brimful Curiosities said...

Yes, I agree it is a very odd story and everytime I see one of those cookies I think of that poor gingerbread character in Shrek ("not my gumdrop buttons!") We do however like Jan Brett's gingerbread books.

Does "The Gingerbread Boy" end tragically? Hmm...then again, maybe I don't want know.

Raising a Happy Child said...

It's definitely not my favorite story either even though I thought Gingerbread Baby story by Jan Brett is rather good. I've never heard of this version before.

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