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Gingerbread Baby

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  5,501 Ratings  ·  203 Reviews
Remember how the Gingerbread Boy is eaten by the fox? Well, not this Gingerbread Baby in a delicious twist to a favorite old tale.It all begins when Matti opens the oven too soon and out jumps a cheeky little Gingerbread Bay. He leads Matti's mother and father, the dog and the cat. And a whole colorful cast of characters on a rollicking chase through the village and into t ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 4th 1999 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1999)
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Nov 09, 2014 Andrea rated it it was ok
I read this book at least 5 times a day (Yes.Every.Single.Day) thanks to my 18 month old, who is blissfully unaware of all the things wrong with "The Gingerbread Baby". Unfortunately, his dad and I are not so lucky and noticed some flaws.

1. Unlike his parents, Matti is blond. There are only two possible explanations: he is either adopted or the milk and cheese man is his real dad.

2. The annoying narcissism of the Gingerbread Baby. We are reminded by that thing on every single page that he is "[
Our incoming Kindergartners do a gingerbread hunt and it's nice to be able to build on that initial experience by reading other versions. This one has been a great favorite with many of my students who agreed with Jan Brett in not liking the ending of most gingerbread man stories. Great read-aloud with possible tie-ins to a wide number of lessons--folk tales, compare/contrast, versions & variations, & prediction jut to name a few. As a bit of a cautionary tale to anyoen reading this alou ...more
Jul 03, 2016 Martin added it
Title: Gingerbread Baby
Author: Jan Brett
Genre: European (Swiss) Folklore
Theme(s): Mischief, trickster
Opening line/sentence:
It was cold outside.
Brief Book Summary:
Matti makes a gingerbread baby who comes alive and runs around town while all the townspeople try to capture him.
Professional Recommendation/Review #1:
Jan Lieberman (Children's Literature)
The joyous journey of a jaunty gingerbread boy is served up deliciously in this book. Set in the Alps, this is Ms. Brett's own version.
This is a beautiful picture book that I read to my class every year at this time. As the title suggests, it is a variation on the classic Gingerbread Boy story. The mischievous Gingerbread Baby not only outruns all of the human and animal characters, he plays a few practical jokes before running off. As with all Jan Brett books it is the richness of the illustrations that make the story. The story is set in a fairytale of an old Swiss village complete with lederhosen and dog pulled milk carts. D ...more
Brianna Mendenhall
Sep 22, 2014 Brianna Mendenhall rated it it was amazing
Gingerbread Baby

Remember how the Gingerbread Boy is eaten by the fox? Well, not this Gingerbread Baby in a delicious twist to a favorite old tale.

It all begins when Matti opens the oven too soon and out jumps a cheeky little Gingerbread Bay. He leads Matti's mother and father, the dog and the cat. And a whole colorful cast of characters on a rollicking chase through the village and into the forest, staying just out of reach, daring them to catch him along the way.

But Matti's not with them. He's
Dec 23, 2010 Susan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
This is not a classic retelling of the Gingerbread Man but a cute story of the Gingerbread Baby. Children enjoy the idea of the baby outwitting everybody. It adds a different dimension to tale. I would have liked to see a better flowing story but overall it is wonderful. The children love the beautiful Nordic illustrations. Jan Brett provides additional material to go along with the story on her website. My kids love making the gingerbread house which comes complete with a gingerbread baby!
Dec 16, 2008 Jane rated it liked it
Shelves: children
I love Jan Brett and "Gingerbread Man" stories but this book is a disappointment. The wonderful rhyme of the original story "Run run as fast as you can. You can't catch me. I'm the Gingerbread Man!", is changed to a cumbersome stilted rhyme in which the gingerbread baby tries to make friends with confectionary characters in a bakery shop. This book will fit the bill for teachers and parents asking for gingerbread man stories but I wouldn't choose as a read-aloud or a favoirite holiday book.
Allie Maas
Feb 17, 2016 Allie Maas rated it it was amazing
Title: Gingerbread Baby
Author: Jan Brett
Illustrator: Jan Brett
Genre: European Folktale
Theme(s): Baking, Gingerbread
Opening Line/sentence:
It was cold outside. It was warm inside. A fine day for gingerbread, Matti thought.

Brief Book Summary:
Matti, a little Swiss boy creates a gingerbread baby only to have it hop up and run away. As it ran through the town it caused chaos among the all the animals and townspeople. Each person tried to catch the gingerbread baby with no success until it was thought
Katie Foster
Feb 18, 2014 Katie Foster rated it it was amazing
Shelves: traditional-tale
I really enjoyed this story. As a teacher, I could do a unit on the gingerbread man. I would use this story to compare how this story is alike and different from the regular gingerbread man. To use this story, the students would need some background knowledge on the regular folktale of the gingerbread man, which I would read and discuss with them before this story. An example of an alikeness would be how the gingerbread baby runs away and urges them to catch him if they can, just like the ginger ...more
Melissa O'Neill
Jul 19, 2015 Melissa O'Neill rated it really liked it
Categories/Genres for this class fulfilled by this book
Fiction/Traditional Literature/Folktale/Cumulative Tale/Picture Book

Estimate of age level of interest

Estimate of reading level

Brief description
Taken from the classic tale, The Gingerbread Boy, this story puts a new spin on the familiar tale. A young boy, Matti, and his mother bake a gingerbread baby. When Matti gets too impatient and opens the oven door – out goes the gingerbread baby and away goes the chase, all over town. Matti, howe
Melissa Stasi
Feb 10, 2015 Melissa Stasi rated it really liked it
This is an interesting book full of warm colors and pictures that children in K-2nd grade would enjoy because it brings out each person's imagination. In this book, a gingerbread cookie comes alive and is let loose around the snowy town. Children might find it humorous because objects like this can't talk or walk. Throughout the book, there is a repeated chorus stating, "I am the Gingerbread Baby, Fresh from the pan, If you want me, Catch me if you can." This is an important feature of the book ...more
Eydie Aremburg
Jul 06, 2015 Eydie Aremburg rated it it was amazing
Category: Traditional Literature

Genre: Traditional Literature

Sub-genre: Folktale

Interest Level: Pre-K to Grade 2

Reading Level: Lexile 430; DRA 24; Guided Reading M

Brief description: Matti and his mother bake a gingerbread man, but Matti peaks in the oven too soon. When he does, a gingerbread baby jumps out of the oven. The chase is on to capture The Gingerbread Baby.

Identify at least 2 characteristics of this genre(s) and sub-genre and discuss how they appear in your book: One characteristic of
Darby Keffeler
Sep 16, 2015 Darby Keffeler rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edrd-314
This book was a christmastime favorite of mine when I was little. It is a spin off of the classic fairytale The Gingerbread boy. The story focuses on Matti and the gingerbread baby. The book has a good moral to it which teaches patience. This is because if Matti had patience the gingerbread would have become a full boy and not a baby that was naughty and ran away. The book always is a really good way to teach foreshadowing, this is because the illustrations on the sides of the pages give hints a ...more
Nicholas Linsk
Apr 28, 2014 Nicholas Linsk rated it it was amazing
Gingerbread Baby has lively and beautifully detailed paintings that catch the spirit of a favorite old tale through her cheeky little Gingerbread Baby and the colorful cast of characters who pursue him through a tiny Swiss village surrounded by forest and mountains. There is a fun twist at the end of the story that surprises even the Gingerbread baby.
Brett’s illustrations appear to be life like, almost as if they were actual photographs taken. Her use of shading of the mountains and the patchy
Hallie Adkins
Dec 09, 2015 Hallie Adkins rated it really liked it
Gingerbread Baby is a cute story in which the main character, Matti, must pay the consequences of failing to be patient while the gingerbread man cooks. The adventure keeps the reader on their toes and guessing about whether the gingerbread baby will be caught. The story itself is quite simple, so the beautifully detailed and intricate illustrations really tell the story. The expressions on each of the characters faces throughout the story make the character come alive—especially the gingerbread ...more
Paige Freeman
Feb 21, 2015 Paige Freeman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: traditonal-tales
I really enjoyed this version of "The Gingerbread Man" by Jane Brett. I loved the illustrations in her traditional style. I chose to read this story because my kindergarteners actually told me to. I do a gingerbread unit in January every year and this was a book our librarian read to them previously and they were disappointed I did not have it in my collection to share with them. I would use this book to add to my unit in comparing the different versions of the gingerbread man. I thought it was ...more
Aug 16, 2016 Cathi rated it it was amazing
I love Jan Brett's illustrations! They're absolutely beautiful, and the borders around each page are nearly as charming and interesting as the actual pictures inside. I love how she often uses Nordic themes in her drawings; it's very appealing to me, for some reason. So of course, I love this book, and Brett's re-telling of the famous gingerbread man story is lots of fun. This story doesn't have quite the violence at the ending, which we're all used to. (Big disappointment for big kids!) Instead ...more
Sep 03, 2016 Stacy rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, christmas
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda Lipko
Jan 07, 2014 Linda Lipko rated it it was amazing
Yet another stellar art filled book by Jan Brett! I'd like to met this author and ask how long it takes to illustrate one of her books. Filled with detail, the images pop off the page. and this current read is no exception.

Matti and his mother are baking a gingerbread boy. The instructions note to bake a full eight minutes. No more! No Less! and DO NOT peek.

After four minutes Matti couldn't control himself, opening the oven and out popped a gingerbread baby instead of a gingerbread boy.

Running t
Mar 27, 2014 Vivian rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A bit "wordy" to use in a library pre-school story time but still delightful. One perk of using this version are the images you can print from the author's website. Use them as masks, as flannel board figures, or as craft-stick puppets. Here's the link:
board game:
cardboard house:
interactive house (to play on-line):
build-a-book: http:/
Dec 10, 2015 Nadine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christmas
A little boy named Matti decided to bake a gingerbread man. Much to his surprise, when Matti opened the oven, the gingerbread man came out saying that he is the gingerbread baby. The gingerbread baby ran away outside, messing with everyone and every animal he came in contact with. In the end, Matti ended up building a small gingerbread house and put it out into the woods. The gingerbread baby smelt it, and once he found it in the woods, he went inside. Matti brought him back home in his new litt ...more
Jun 24, 2015 Lindsi rated it really liked it
This book is about a little boy who tries to make a gingerbread man. When he peeks in the oven, when he’s not supposed to, a gingerbread baby pops out and starts running away. Pretty soon everyone is trying to catch him including the animals. While everyone is chasing the gingerbread baby, the little boy is cooking up a plan to catch him. Finally, his plan is ready and he sets a gingerbread house outside where the gingerbread baby will smell it. He does and heads straight inside, and the little ...more
Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett is a twist on an older tale. In this version, Matti bakes a gingerbread man, but opens the oven too early and he escapes from the pan. This leads Mom, Dad, cat, and dog on a hunt through the village to capture the cookie creature. However, Matti is not pursuing the gingerbread baby, but rather creating a trap. He bakes a gingerbread house that lures the gingerbread baby back to the kitchen.
Jan Brett’s illustrations, once again, are phenomenal. She includes her tra
Feb 15, 2011 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, 2011
We love Jan Brett's illustrations and so we eagerly get any of her books we haven't seen yet. Sometimes they all seem to blend together, but still, it's fun to look at the pictures. We often turn our reading sessions into a "find the hedgehog" hunt, especially if the little critter isn't prominently featured in the story. It was somewhere here on Goodreads that I learned that she likes them (and has one, I think) and finds ways to incorporate them into her books.
Well, back to my review (can you
Dalene Arizmendi
Dec 09, 2015 Dalene Arizmendi rated it really liked it
What a funny story, I have never read the original Gingerbread Man, but I'm sure this book does it justice. The main theme of this book is to be patient, and what happens when you don't follow directions. I recommend this book for young readers (1st-3rd grade). I give this book 4/5 stars because the illustrations are just phenomenal, the reader can see the main story going on and on the side of the pages you can see what the young boy is doing to catch Gingerbread Baby.
Apr 23, 2015 Emma rated it liked it
Shelves: children-2015
I love Jan Brett but there is some real funny business going on in this story.

Why do Matti's parents leave him home alone with the oven on? That's a terrible idea.

Then Matti is USING the oven! How old is this kid?!

He's reading a recipe for a gingerbread boy but somehow magically creates an entire gingerbread house, decorated and all, in the same amount of time.

The gingerbread baby is drawn to the scent of the gingerbread house. Uhhhh... cannibal baby?
Meg McGregor
Loved it! Magnificently illustrated! This is classic Jan Brett at her best.

I especially loved the ending.

Not to spoil it; but I thought Matti was going to bake a gingerbread girl for the boy to be friends with - but I love Matti's idea so much better.

A great story! There is so much to look at you can almost feel as if you are part of the illustrations!

Who wouldn't want to visit the world of Jan Brett?
Sara Sipos
Jul 15, 2014 Sara Sipos rated it liked it
This book is a cute twist on an original story. Matti bakes a Gingerbread Baby who escapes and runs through town causing trouble. Matti has a master plan and stays homes to bake a gingerbread house for the gingerbread baby. His plan works and he captures the gingerbread baby. This is a good book to have on your bookshelf and could be used if you want students to write an alternate ending to a book.
Rosa Cline
Aug 19, 2016 Rosa Cline rated it really liked it
This was a neat twist on the old story of the gingerbread man... Gingerbread baby runs away and no one can out smart him. BUT can they? The little boy that made him knew how to out smart him when the whole village didn't know how. And as always with Ms Brett's books, illustrations are always marvelous. Her books are always great even if the text isn't always her illustrations are.
Feb 12, 2014 Caroline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book to read during the holidays, as it embraces the childhood festivities of making gingerbread cookies and gingerbread houses. While children could read this book on their own, I believe this particular book would make a great read aloud for K-2 grade students.

It encompasses two great morales for children:
1) The importance of following directions.
2) You can't do everything on your own; sometimes you need help from others.

The illustrations are beautiful in this book, and I esp
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With over thirty three million books in print, Jan Brett is one of the nation's foremost author illustrators of children's books. Jan lives in a seacoast town in Massachusetts, close to where she grew up. During the summer her family moves to a home in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.
As a child, Jan Brett decided to be an illustrator and spent many hours reading and drawing. She says, "I reme
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