Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Looking for a Bedtime Story for Your Little One...Try Gingerbread Girl by Illana Barran

Take one story, add a tune. Sing it fast or hum it softly... This is what I imagine that Illana Barran does as she sings her bedtime story, The Survival of the Gingerbread Girl: A Lullaby... I did learn that another writer had a similar story, but believe me, this has sufficient original material and a gentler story, to recommend your consideration...

Because this particular gingerbread girl had heard stories--everybody liked gingerbread, but she had her own plan for her life this time...every time she had been made, she was always a treat rather than a friend...

Sooo, this time things were going to be different!

Once the oven beeped, they went to take a peek, and the little Gingerbread Girl sat up with a squeak!
She ran across the floor and out the door, and said...
"No, no! No More! I don't want to be eaten anymore!"

And as soon as she was outside, she began to sing! And skipped along with just one word!

La La La          La La La
La La La La        La La La La
La La La La La La La La La La
La La La La La La La La La La
La La La La La La La La La La
La La La La La La La La
La La La La La La
La La La La La
La La La La
La La La
La La

But now she was out in the world and whenever anybody saw her, they tried to get her to come to them, tempting them with cocoa and a chat. Do you know what she said?

"No no, spin spin, 
as fast as I can twirl!
You can't catch me; 
I'm the Gingerbread Girl!

Will she have to run forever?!

"I've run from a husband;
I've run from a wife,
and I can surely run
from you too, Mister Butcher.
Yes, I can!
And I can surely run from you too,
Mister Butcher. Yes, I can!"

LaLa  LaLaLa  LaLa...
I thought the art work was a good match to the story line...The gingerbread girl looks like one that might be baked and appears throughout the book just the same, with only slight variations in her shape. This 40-page story will keep children interested...until they are drowsy...  La La!

All of the other characters are sketched, I believe, perhaps freehand. It made an impression on me as being the perfect setting for our little Girl that must keeping running away so she won't be eaten... Also, using baking implements like a roller pin, are clever touches in the art work, especially when they lead to great-looking goodies at the end! Kudos to the author who also illustrated her book!

I especially liked the ending for Gingerbread girl... But then it was somewhat ironic to have several recipes provided in the back of the book! LOL It's ok to save the Gingerbread Girl, but when you bake gingerbread, make only muffins or scones so your kids can enjoy them!

There are parts of the book that are repetitive, such as would be for a chorus in a song. And another part repeats all of the previous words, but adds the latest character from whom she escapes...much like you would have with the Song, On the First Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

With just one reading, I found that I began to feel the rhythm of the poetic words and could easily see how the reader could create a tune for the words that the child would become used to... and with the length of the story, it could start out fast and then slow down as the child began to show signs of sleepiness, making it in to a very unique lullaby!

And just like this simple song, children can learn much from the Gingerbread Girl...First, that you can do something about things and can be proud of those accomplishments... She, of course,also determined to be safe and chose to run away when in danger...but, mainly, this book is just a catchy little story that is fun to enjoy and add a little tune to sing the words...or just have your child sing la, la, la, as the story is read! Be creative...that's what this book most allows!

By the way, a charming added touch is that on the back cover is a review of the book by Aaron Liebskind who is 9 years old! He admits that even after his little sister falls asleep, he wants to hear the rest of the story because it is so enjoyable! Kid-Approved! Cool, right?

I enjoyed the unique aspects of this book--the story itself, the art work, and the encouragement to add music...Plus the bonus of recipes will please many mothers! Highly recommended...



Illana Barran is an author and illustrator. She was inspired to write this classic story adaption while singing stories to her young daughter. Thus, born The Survival of the Gingerbread Girl which is not only a bedtime, story but a lullaby - when sung, can calmly help a child go to sleep at nap time or bedtime or just a soothing remedy for a crying child. Illana is also an artist and has taught beginning painting classes to young students. In addition, she enjoys photography and cooking.

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