Tough Cookie

When this gingerbread man was baked, someone forgot to put in the ginger. He’s made of eggs and cinnamon and flour and butter and sugar, but he’s missing a key ingredient! Without ginger, the gingerbread man feels like he’s not really a gingerbread man at all! He can’t be sold in the bakery, so he lives at the back of the store. And there he causes all kinds of trouble.

Description

When this gingerbread man was baked, someone forgot to put in the ginger. He’s made of eggs and cinnamon and flour and butter and sugar, but he’s missing a key ingredient! Without ginger, the gingerbread man feels like he’s not really a gingerbread man at all! He can’t be sold in the bakery, so he lives at the back of the store. And there he causes all kinds of trouble.

This gingerbread man eats the baker’s decorating candy. He throws sprinkles across the counter and squirts frosting on the walls. It’s not long before the baker has had enough of the gingerbread man’s mischief and orders him to leave. The gingerbread man realizes he’ll have to change his ways, and the baker decides to help. He teaches the gingerbread man that his ingredients don’t make him who he is—it’s his character that defines him. So the gingerbread man begins to help the baker decorate the other gingerbread men and women. He helps prepare them and makes sure they find their way on their journey from the oven to the bakery shelf. And he always makes sure to add the ginger.

This is a story about being kind and finding happiness through helping others. Sandford’s cute illustrations accompany Louise’s sweet story, and children won’t be able to resist its delightful charm.

Reviews:

Kirkus Review:

An attitudinally challenged gingerbread man gets a lesson in manners. What do you call a gingerbread man if he’s missing the main ingredient: ginger? If you are reading this tale, you might call him naughty. Feeling as though he doesn’t belong makes this cookie act out in all sorts of ways, from squirting frosting on the walls and eating the candy decorations to spilling the sprinkles. Needless to say, the baker is not pleased, and he orders him to leave. But perhaps the gingerbread man can change his ways? “The baker teaches the gingerbread man that niceness comes from him, not from whether he has the right ingredients. ‘Being kind makes others feel good and will make you happy too,’ the baker says.” Now, instead of causing trouble, the gingerbread man helps the baker create his treats, making sure that the most important ingredient is never forgotten. Sandford’s illustrations, done from the cookies’ perspectives, help to leaven the story’s earnestness. They portray the gingerbread cookies with lots of personality and individuality. The titular tough cookie starts off with a dark cloud over his head, moving from gleeful destruction to sorrow to helpfulness and, ultimately, belonging. A didactic take on the traditional tale. (Picture book. 4-7)

By

Grace Sandford

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