Thursday, February 2, 2017

[BOOK REVIEW] The Gingerbread Boy by Paul Galdone







Title:  The Gingerbread Boy

Author:  Paul Galdone

Genre:  Food / Fairy Tale / Retelling / Trickery

Year Published: 1975

Year Read:  2017


Publisher: Clarion Books


Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+ (Some Mischievous Behavior and Death)





Now, as long as I could remember, I have always heard the stories about everyone’s favorite trouble making food product the “Gingerbread Man” and I had read a couple of children’s books in the past that detailed the Gingerbread Man’s adventures (although it has been years since I had last read a “Gingerbread Man” book).  So, when I found out that Paul Galdone had written his own interpretation of the Gingerbread Man story called “The Gingerbread Boy,” I was a bit surprised to see this edition pop up and I had to check it out!



The story starts off with a little old woman and a little old man not having any children of their own and they decided to make a Gingerbread Boy to make up for it.  When the old woman put the Gingerbread boy in the oven, she went off to go do some chores in the house and it was then that she forgot about the Gingerbread Boy and the oven started to burn.  When the old woman quickly went to open the oven, out jumped the Gingerbread Boy and he ended up running out of the house!  This then causes an escalating adventure for the Gingerbread Boy as he runs away from both the old woman and the old man and most of the villagers, while shouting out:

 “Run! Run! Run!

Catch me if you can!

You can’t catch me!

I’m the Gingerbread Boy,

I am! I am!”

After the Gingerbread Boy outruns everyone in the village, he meets up with a fox and…

Will the fox catch the Gingerbread Boy?

Read this book to find out!


Paul Galdone’s retelling of the “Gingerbread Man” was quite unique and cute to read as I rarely come across many “Gingerbread Man” interpretations where the titular Gingerbread Man is portrayed as a boy (even though there were no hints about the Gingerbread being a boy other than being called a boy).   I also enjoyed the scenes where the Gingerbread Boy ran away from various characters who want to eat him up as it was amusing that the Gingerbread Boy came up with this rhyme to brag about how he can evade any of his pursuers and I found myself repeating the rhymes whenever the Gingerbread Boy escapes from his pursuers.   Paul Galdone’s artwork was fun to look at as all the characters and settings look scratchy as it has an old fashioned feel that made the story great to read through.  I also loved the images of the Gingerbread Boy itself as it truly looks like a baked gingerbread cookie that happens to come to life and run across the pages in happy glee!


The reason why I gave this book a four star rating was because I felt that the Gingerbread Boy’s taunting verses:

“Run! Run! Run!

Catch me if you can!

You can’t catch me!

I’m the Gingerbread Boy,

I am! I am!”

Had started to get a bit tedious after a while, especially since we keep seeing these same verses pop up on every page every time the Gingerbread Boy runs away from his pursuers.  While young children will get enjoyment out of repeating this verse every time the Gingerbread Boy escapes his pursuers, some older readers might find the constant repeatings of this verse to be a bit of a hassle to read through over and over again.


Overall, “The Gingerbread Boy” is a cute book for anyone who is a huge fan of the “Gingerbread Man” stories.  I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the ending of this book might disturb some smaller children.







3 comments:

  1. I took a Children's Lit course in college and we had to read seven different versions of this story and compare and contrast them. Ha ha. It was very interesting. I linked your review on my First Friday Friends feature post on my children's book blog. :)

    http://ticklingdragons.blogspot.com/2017/02/first-friday-friends-february-2017.html

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