Today Biblio Links welcomes picture book author Laura Murray!
Full disclosure: I had the pleasure of creating curriculum guides for each of these delightful books. Both stories are twists on the traditional gingerbread tale.
Here are the summaries from the publisher’s website:
The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School: When a class leaves for recess, their just-baked Gingerbread Man is left behind. But he’s a smart cookie and heads out to find them. He’ll run, slide, skip, and (after a mishap with a soccer ball) limp as fast as he can because: “I can catch them! I’m their Gingerbread Man!”
With help from the gym teacher, the nurse, the art teacher and even the principal, the Gingerbread Man does find his class, and he’s assured they’ll never leave him behind again.
Teachers often use the Gingerbread Man story to introduce new students to the geography and staff of schools, and this fresh, funny twist on the original can be used all year long. Includes a poster with fun activities!
The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truck: Guess who gets to go along on a field trip to the firehouse? The Gingerbread Man! But when he falls out of his classmate’s pocket, Spot the Dalmatian comes sniffing around. Luckily, this Gingerbread Man is one smart cookie, and he races into the fire truck, up the pole, and all through the station, staying one step ahead of the hungry dog the whole time.
Then an emergency call comes in and the Gingerbread Man knows just what to do:
“I’ll ride to the rescue, as fast as I can.
I want to help, too! I’m the Gingerbread Man!”
With snappy rhymes and fresh illustrations, the Gingerbread Man makes a sweet return in his second school adventure. Includes a poster with fire safety tips and activities.
I adore both of these books, and so do kids. Laura Murray’s rhyme is spot-on, making it a flowing, fun read-aloud. In both books, the gingerbread man isn’t running away from anyone (well, except for a brief sprint from the fire house Dalmatian)–he’s running to his friends, the kids who made him in their classroom, befriended him, and then lost track of him. Mike Lowery’s illustrations are just as appealing as the text–bright, cheery and comic-book-like with speech bubbles galore.
Here’s what Laura had to say about using these fun titles in the classroom.
Biblio Links: A student or teacher walks into my library and I think: That person needs a copy of one of Laura Murray’s Gingerbread Man books. Who is this person?
Laura Murray: This kid loves adventure and a good giggle, or field trips, fire trucks, and fire fighters. These books are for every kid who ever felt nervous on the first day of school, or who longed to be accepted; who wants to be a helper and a hero, or who likes comic-book/ graphic novel-like pictures.Or possibly a teacher who is looking for a fun way to introduce his/her students to the school and staff – by chasing the Gingerbread man through the school, or who simply wants a fresh, funny take on the traditional story to highlight his/her Holiday unit. Maybe this teacher or librarian wants to complement a fire safety or community helpers unit by giving his/her students an adventurous tour of the fire station (via the GB Man) during October Fire Prevention Week.
Biblio Links: If we were to peek into a classroom where a teacher is using one of your books in a lesson or with a small group, what might we see or hear?
Laura Murray: Being a former teacher myself, I wanted to incorporate lots of fun curriculum tie-ins within these books. Teachers can find printables and standards- based activities here. These are just a few of the lessons that you might see:* Math – Gingerbread-related measuring and estimation* Science – A five senses lessons while making gingerbread; Properties of the ingredients and batter (and kids who are very excited that they might get to taste a cookie!)* Language Arts – Comparing/contrasting the many versions of the GB Man story; Identifying story elements, structure, story event sequencing; Identifying (and chiming in on) rhyming words
* Life Skills – Fire Prevention and Safety Rules; How to navigate your school
* Social Studies – Community helpers; Map skills in the school and community
Biblio Links: Where can teachers, librarians and students learn more about you and your book?
Please feel free to visit my website at www.LauraMurrayBooks.com
for loads of activities, printouts, and standards /common core-linked teacher’s guides, as well as information about school author presentations.Here’s The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School’s
book trailer. Fun just to watch or to practice skills like story prediction, sequencing, compare/contrast, and retelling. Enjoy!
Biblio Links: Thanks for joining us, Laura!
The Nitty Gritty~
Read the glowing reviews here and here.
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Publication Dates: The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School (July 2011); The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truck (July 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-0399250521 (The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School)
ISBN-13: 978-0399257797 (The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truck)
Interest Level: 5-8 years
Number of Pages: 32
Thanks to Sheila at Book Journeys for starting this meme, and Jen (Teach Mentor Texts) and Kellee (Unleashing Readers) for turning it into a kid-lit meme! Click here for more Monday reviews.