Gr 1–4—"At the library…. The Gingerbread Man lives at number 398.2." And so begins this Dewey decimal twist on an old favorite. When the naughty cookie escapes from the librarian, his pursuers include a thesaurus from 423.1 that cries, "Stop! Cease! Halt! Freeze! Stay!" and a robot from 629.892 that drones, "Stop. Stop. You. Are. Misplaced." As the impish runaway meets each new character, he echoes the familiar refrain, "Run, run, as fast as you can./You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!" When he reaches the 920s, Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, and Amelia Earhart all try in vain to catch him. "Even Jesse Owens, a record-breaking Olympic runner, couldn't keep up." Finally, an Arctic fox emerges from the 998s: "Looks like you're trapped…. I'm quick and light on my feet. Get up on my back." We all know what usually happens next, but the "clever librarian" saves the day and the cookie is safely reshelved where he belongs. The young woman sports cat's-eye glasses and a '70s striped and flowered frock; the pudgy brown protagonist is classically iced and has a pink candy nose; and the book spines feature humorous titles such as If You Give a Fox a Gingersnap. Children will delight in the picture of the wily fox waiting expectantly to swallow the little man. Pair this fun introduction to library organization with Jackie Mims Hopkins's Goldie Socks and the Three Librarians (Upstart, 2007) to welcome students back to school in September.—Barbara Auerbach, PS 217, Brooklyn, NYMy thoughts:
I loved this book. It reminded me of when I started working on my library science degree before I got pregnant for the first time. That degree never worked out, children and moving across the country put it on hold, but working in a library has always appealed to me. When i brought it home from the library my daughter told that they read it last year at library and I can totally see how it would be useful for teaching about how a library is organized. The Gingerbread Man is running away from characters and animals who are emerging from other books on the shelves, and each time they step out of a book you see what their address is and of course their "address" is where they belong in the Dewey Decimal System. My younger two enjoyed it just for the story, the numbers didn't mean anything to them, but I think the older two might grasp that the numbers are used to organize the books in a way that they can be found by others using the library.
Details from Barnes and Noble:
•Pub. Date: January 2010
•Publisher: Highsmith Incorporated
•Format: Hardcover , 32pp
•Age Range: For infants or children in preschool (I disagree with this, I think the book is more for elementary grades than preschoolers)