Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Cookie With A Clue! The Gingerbread Man Loose at the Zoo by Laura Murray

I’ll be a detective. I know that I can!
I’ll solve all these clues. I’m the Gingerbread Man!

That cocky cookie is back again, this time on field trip with "his" class to the city zoo!

Teacher has prepped the kids with plenty of wild animal lore and has a fun scavenger hunt for the class to sleuth out each creature with the help of her clues.

It's a zippity zoo day!

But Gingerbread Man is born to run! He zips off on his own to try his hand at solving all the riddles. Unfortunately, he soon learns that being a tasty cookie amid wild animals means he has to be a smart cookie. Giraffe sees Gingerbread Man as nothing more than a sweet treat.

I jumped on the rail to get a good look.

And out popped her tongue like a curvy blue hook!

That was a close one! Gingerbread Man wriggles and twists out of a tight situation by tickling Giraffe's tender nose into an abrupt sneeze that sends Gingerbread Man sailing to safety.

But does Gingerbread Man stay with the group? Of course not. Running wild is his style. But by now he's a wiser wanderer, staying out of reach of the zebra, rhino, elephant, and even the naked mole rat. He even manages to resist a sweet-talking fox this time around, too, until he's down to his last critter riddle, when he meets up with a little lost Joey Roo, looking for his mother's warm pouch.

I'll help you get back.

I'm kind of lost, too!

But I'm on the right track.

And with just the right clue, Gingerbread Man comes through, in Laura Murray's latest in series, The Gingerbread Man Loose at The Zoo (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2016). With Murray's rollicking rhythms and cantering couplets, kids get a well-versed educational tour of the zoo and its denizens with their favorite jolly gingerbread man. Mike Lowery's faux naif illustrations move the story along speedily with each page turn, and all ends well, with everyone luckily accounted for in time to load on the big yellow bus. "Zingy rhymes and cartooning make this a high-stakes, high-energy readaloud," reports Publishers Weekly.

Murray's Gingerbread Man series is perfect for preschool and primary school students, each one focused on learning about some aspect of community life. Other books in this series include The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School, The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truck, and, of course, The Gingerbread Man Loose at Christmas. (See reviews here.)

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