cover image The Gingerbread Man Loose at Christmas

The Gingerbread Man Loose at Christmas

Laura Murray, illus. by Mike Lowery. Putnam, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-16866-6

In the Gingerbread Man’s third picture book, he and his human classmates are busy delivering gifts around town, from homemade cards and treats to songs “with jingle-bell beats.” The Gingerbread Man is eager to participate, but not unlike Frosty the Snowman’s touchy relationship with the weather, slushy streets and legs made of dough are a less-than-ideal combination (“I’ll hobble right over, as fast as I can./ I’ll give my gift, too, I’m the Gingerbread Man!”). Lowery’s use of comics-style panels and the nursery rhyme rhythms of Murray’s verse keep the story moving as quickly as its confectionary hero. The emphasis on generosity and humble, heartfelt gifts makes for sweet holiday reading, and a visit to the bakery ensures that the Gingerbread Man gets to deliver his gift and gains some new all-weather gear. Ages 5–8. Author’s agent: Marietta Zacker, Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agency: Lilla Rogers Studio. (Oct.)