Gingerbread Men

Gingerbread Men

Yesterday morning found us reading one of our favorite books: The Gingerbread Man as told by by Jim Aylesworth with beautiful illustrations by Barbara McClintock.

I’m not sure if this is the version of the story I had read to me in my childhood; but it does have the familiar refrain:

Run! Run!
Fast as you can!
You can’t catch me!
I’m the Gingerbread Man!

I like Jan Brett’s beautiful illustrations but her version of the story, The Gingerbread Baby always disappoints me because it does not have the refrain, in fact has no repetition at all. I think the fun of this story for children is pattern that they learn and anticipate and then chant along with. (Though I do understand the urge to change it. When you’ve read The Gingerbread Man 20 times in a row, it does get very, very old.)

One other thing I love about this book. It has a recipe on the back cover! So when the inspiration strikes, you don’t have to go hunting for one. And it’s really, really good gingerbread too!

So after I’d read the story a few times, Ben having fallen asleep while I did so, I put him into his bed and we got to mixing. Then we put the dough in the refrigerator and never had time to get back to it yesterday. But I think that worked out well. We don’t really have time in a day to both mix batter and roll and cut and shape and decorate and bake cookies. Breaking it into a two-day process works perfectly for us. Especially as today turned out to be very rainy.

Today after breakfast we got out the dough and the cookie sheets and rolling pins and parchment paper and, of course, the gingerbread man cookie cutter and the currants for decorating our little men.


Bella helped me roll out the dough and cut the cookies.


Then we decorated them with currants.


Sophie just ate the currants.


I tried to tell the perfectionist voice to shut up and let Bella have her fun. She did. The gingerbread men were beautiful as only a 3-year old can make them.


Of course the best part is eating the fruit of your labors.


Or maybe it’s sharing them with your sister.

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  • Charlotte,
    It gets better. Later I picked up the coloring page and saw that in addition to the roses Bella had added a tiara and some jewels. This out of pages and pages and pages of stickers that included bulldozers and soccer balls and all sorts of miscellaneous objects. Somehow Bella managed to select only the most appropriate gifts for the Queen of Heaven.