Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Gingerbread Baby

by Jan Brett


In Gingerbread Baby Jan Brett’s classic paintings of a Swiss village and its people tell the story of the sassy, mischievous Gingerbread Baby as he escapes from the oven.  He out-smarts and out-runs every person and animal that tries to catch him.

Matti and his mother used an old, well-worn cookbook to bake a yummy batch of gingerbread.  It reads

 “Bake a full eight minutes.  No more. No less.  DO NOT peek.”

Well, I know how hard it is not to peek at something scrumptious baking in the oven.  Matti couldn’t stand waiting either, and out popped not the Gingerbread Boy, but a gingerbread baby!  Laugh along as he wrestles away from the cat, outsmarts Matti’s sisters, somersaults through the village, all the while saying

“I am the Gingerbread Baby,

Fresh from the pan.

If you want me,

Catch me if you can.”

Matti is mixing up a plan of his own.  Read the book Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett to find out how Matti uses patience and planning to solve a problem!

Jan Brett has always impressed me with her ability to use her illustrations to tell her stories along with the text.  Not only are the paintings beautiful, but each detail adds to the narrative.  As the definition of a picture book explains, the story can be told even without the text.

On several pages Brett has included gingerbread shaped “windows” that give us glimpses of upcoming story events.  This technique is a fabulous way for children to learn how to understand stories, and how to tell or retell them.  This ability takes practice, and it is such an important part of developing early literacy skills.  Jan Brett makes it fun and easy to learn with this book as well as others like it such as The Mitten and TheThree Snow Bears.  Check out these great books out so you too can enjoy reading and talking about these fun stories with your child.

For even more picture books that are great for building comprehension through narrative skills, check out The Tortoise and the Hare and other books by Jerry Pinkney. 

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