Sunday, September 10, 2006

Picture Books - The Gingerbread Cowboy

The Gingerbread Cowboy by Janet Squires and Illustrated by Holly Berry 2006

“Giddyup, giddyup as fast as you can” are the words heard from the gingerbread cowboy. That’s right partner I said The Gingerbread Cowboy. I have seen a number of gingerbread man stories in my time, but this is the first I’ve seen with a western theme to it. Instead of biscuits and jam one day the rancher’s wife decides to make gingerbread and shapes it into a cowboy with a fringe vest no less. Like in many of the others stories the gingerbread cowboy takes off when he gets the chance and leads a group of hungry folks and critters in his path. Unlike the javelinas and long horned cattle, the coyote (instead of the usual fox or wolf) ends up outwitting the gingerbread cowboy as they cross the river. The nice surprise ending is seeing the rancher’s wife teaching the coyote how to make gingerbread cowboys.

If you are someone who likes variations on fairytales, then this is a book for you. Plus, I think it would be a good read aloud for a group of young ones. The artwork is comical, detailed, and colorful. It adds greatly to the tale. I originally selected this because my husband is a fan of the gingerbread man. However, I too found it a delightful read. I don’t usually mind seeing the gingerbread man eaten in the end as he really at times can be annoying with his “...you can’t catch me” phrase. One thing I did find a bit odd was how in using the classic phrase this gingerbread man doesn’t call himself a cowboy, but still the gingerbread man. Would probably work well with kids 5 and up. Also, a good one to use in a compare and contrast situation.

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