“THE GINGERBREAD GIRL GOES ANIMAL CRACKERS,” by Lisa Campbell Ernst, Dutton Juvenile, October 13, 2011, $16.99 (ages 3 and up)
It’s the Gingerbread Girl’s birthday, and the little old man and woman who made her excitedly give her a birthday gift of animal crackers to celebrate. What could be more fun than some cookies just like her for the Gingerbread Girl to play with? But all doesn’t go as planned when the animal crackers take off running — just as the Gingerbread Girl and her brother before her — straight into the waiting arms of the wily fox at the river. How will the Gingerbread Girl save her animal crackers and bring them home safely before they become the fox’s lunch?
With each page offering two different poems: one spoken by a specific animal cracker for each page, and the other a repeating poem spoken by all of the animals together, young readers will have a chance to get in on the story-telling action. Picture books with repeating stanzas are often picked for reading time at my house because even my 2-year-old can eventually learn the pattern and join along. This book has quickly become a favorite for just that reason. Vibrant and over-sized illustrations reinforce the galloping quality of the book — as we wait to discover how the Gingerbread Girl will save her new friends.
A lively and quick-paced book – where the bad fox is happily outsmarted in the end — “The Gingerbread Girl Goes Animal Crackers” makes for a story-time filled with giggles and fun.