Perfect Picture Book Friday-The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School

Susanna Leonard Hill features Perfect Picture Book on her blog on Fridays. This is a wonderful resource if you are wondering what books to give as gifts, needing material for a lesson, and mainly just perfect for those who love to read picture books. Here is a list of books by category. Each book listed is a link to information about that book. It is very handy.

I recently read The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School by Laura Murray and chose it for Perfect Picture Book Friday.

The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School

Written by Laura Murray

Illustrated by Mike Lowery.

Putnam Juvenile 2011

Ages 5-8

Synopsis: (From Laura Murray’s Website): “They mixed him and baked him with love, but when the teacher called ‘Recess!’ the class left their Gingerbread Man behind. Certain there’s been a mistake, this smart cookie sets out to find them in this humorous romp through the school. Book includes a poster with fun activities!”

Opening Lines:

“I began in a bowl. I was not myself-

just a list of ingredients pulled from a shelf,

chosen by children who measured and mixed

my smooth, spicy batter while sneaking quick licks…

A sprinkle of ginger, some cinnamon too,

molasses, soft butter, and eggs as my glue.

Then in their classroom, the children began

to roll me and mold me to look like a man.”

Themes: folktale, friendship, first of school

Brief Synopsis from Laura Murray’s Website: The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School is a fresh twist on a classic tale, told by the Gingerbread Man himself. But this time, he isn’t on the run, he’s sliding down handrails, hiding in lunch bags, and spinning in the Principal’s chair—all on the quest to find the children who made him. On his romp through the school, he meets helpful school staff, but just misses his class every time. Finally after spotting himself on a “MISSING” poster in the Principal’s office, he realizes that his class has been searching for him too. A deliciously sweet ending is served up for both the Gingerbread Man and the children who made him.

Links to Resources: Classroom Gingerbread Man Extension Ideas and Activities, Gingerbread Hunt Clues, Gingerbread Hunt Printable Clues, Teacher’s Guide for “The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School”, Gingerbread Teaching Theme, The Gingerbread Man

Why I Like This Book: First of all…who doesn’t love a gingerbread man? They are adorable. Laura’s original and fun twist on a familiar tale makes for plenty of smiles and chuckles as you read. I am a retired teacher who remembers many classes of excited kindergarteners coming to my classroom looking for the gingerbread man. I love the fact that now the gingerbread man is looking for them. Children will catch the clever humor. I can just see the smiles on their little faces…and isn’t that what picture books are about!! This is a great book for teachers. The illustrations are adorable.  And the rhyme is genius!

26 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday-The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School

  1. Hi Penny,
    I was procrastinating working on a few revisions this morning and having a bit of fun surfing book related blogs on the internet, when I came across your incredible blog and review of my book! I just wanted to drop you a note and tell, you “thank you so much” for kind words and the detail that your review provides about all the teacher/librarian resources for the book on my website! Being a former teacher, I really wanted to “give back” to all the hard working folks out there who are getting books into the hands of the next generation of kids! So, I am so excited that kids out there seem to really enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed writing it, and the resources are proving to be fun and helpful! Yay! Thanks again for your time and thoughtful review! ~ Laura Murray


    1. Laura,
      Thank you so much for dropping by. I think your book is just the cleverest! I have, also, shared it with my former teacher pals. They all do the the gingerbread thing with their classes, so your book is perfect for them. I don’t know if you’re aware of Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog, but she is the one who inspired me to start reviewing my favorite books. I have a link to her site in my review. She has a wonderful list that links each book to reviewer’s blogs. They are all well done. Your book was my first review…so you rank 🙂


  2. What a fun book! I was a teacher as well in my “past life,” and our Kindergarten teachers did the Gingerbread Man for years as a first day of school activity. I think they are still doing it. How clever that an author thought to write a school-specific version. (And…..why in the world didn’t I think of that?) LOL Can’t wait to get my hands on this book! 🙂


  3. Delightful to see a book I recognize, and an author I’ve encountered in my peregrinations around the internet! This book is a delight, and it’s wonderful that there are so many resources and ways of using this fresh-baked look at an old favorite (I still remember reading the original Gingerbread Man story in a picture book at my Grandma’s — and that’s about 47-50 years ago!)


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