For outreach this month and for a special program at the library, I'm doing versions on the Gingerbread Man.
I like to use Eric A. Kimmel's version as my traditional version, illustrated by Megan Lloyd. It's clear and not so old-fashioned that kids get lost in the 16th century.
Then I read The Gingerbread Cowboy by Janet Squires, illustrated by Holly Berry. I love the drastic change in setting and character for the kids to talk about how different a Midwest type farm is from a Southwest ranch. And the whole giddyup rendition is just too catchy.
I booktalked the Gingerbread Boy by Richard Egielski showing the pictures and discussing how New York City is the setting and in the middle of NYC is Central Park with a zoo and Ta-Da a zoo with a fox! But alas the Gingerbread Boy's fate is the same - a tasty snack.
By then I get to the Gingerbread Girl by Lisa Campbell Ernst who learned from her horrible's brother's tragedy and didn't get eaten, but they'll have to read it for themselves to find out how she tricked the fox.
And lastly I read The Ninjabread Man by C. J. Leigh, pictures by Chris Gall. And although this is a bit of along stretch of reading, the ninja always grabs them!
They love the cookie sword, that the snake is a girl and that The Ninjabread Man is being baked again.
I also before and after, somewhere in a transition time used a "Little Mouse, Little Mouse" adapted rhyme. I copied a clipart van in different colors and a small Gingerbread man and hid him behind a van. Then we chanted, "Gingerbread Man, Gingerbread Man are you hiding behind the _____ van?" and had one child pick a color until we revealed the hidden Gingerbread Man. Loads of fun!
And if you can, be sure to ice and decorate your own Gingerbread Man. There's nothing like biting off that leg or head or arm.