Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cookie Guy On Go

Laura Murray, teacher turned author, has cooked up a completely clever confection for teachers and students alike.  The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School (G. P. Putman's Sons Books for Young Readers, July 7, 2011, is her first children's title. Taken from her experiences in the classroom Murray mixes her fanciful flavors giving readers a new twisty treat on the traditional tale.

Using jaunty, rhyming phrases with a beat,

I began in a bowl.
I was not yet 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 classroom of students form their gingerbread man and bake him up just right. Left on a pan to cool, recess time next is the rule, but the animated sweet wants to be with the students too. He's off and running through the school.

First he gets stuck to a ball that rolls him flat, loosing a toe. Then off in search of the group he does go.  He ends with a leap in a brown paper bag lunch. He wants to be with the kids if that's not asking too much. From coach to nurse, art teacher and principal too, our tasty tot trots calling:

I'm The Gingerbread Man, and I'm trying to find the children who made me, but left me behind. ...

Little does the frantic friend of boys and girl know, they are posting posters in the halls at school saying they miss him too.

You'll just have to nibble, er...read, the pages to find what happens to The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School.

Mike Lowery uses pencil, traditional screen printing and digital color to add the needed spice that makes this book good enough to eat.  A variety of comic-book-like layouts with fresh, charming graphics draw the reader to the story like the aroma of newly baked cookies.  His facial expressions convey much with the slightest of details as do his choice of colors bringing a smile to all who view them.

Murray and Lowery have a recipe for success on their hands.

A poster in a pocket at the back includes a picture of the Gingerbread Man to color, a maze, a recipe for this smart cookie and some educational suggestions.  More ideas and information can be found at Murray's web site linked above.

 Be sure to follow the link to Lowery's site too.  He has some books of his own as well as some very delightful designs, a blog and other goodies.

This title will be hoarded by my teachers along with those variations on The Gingerbread Man already in our media center.

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