Cover image for Gingerbread baby / Jan Brett.
Gingerbread baby / Jan Brett.
Publication Information:
New York : Putnam, 1999.
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 24 x 29 cm.
A young boy and his mother bake a gingerbread baby that escapes from their oven and leads a crowd on a chase similar to the one in the familiar tale about a not-so-clever gingerbread man.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
398.21 BRE Book Easy Collection
398.21 BRE Book Easy Collection
398.21 BRE Book Easy Collection

On Order



Remember how the Gingerbread Boy is eaten by the fox? Well, not this Gingerbread Baby in a delicious twist to a favorite old tale.

It all begins when Matti opens the oven too soon and out jumps a cheeky little Gingerbread Bay. He leads Matti's mother and father, the dog and the cat. And a whole colorful cast of characters on a rollicking chase through the village and into the forest, staying just out of reach, daring them to catch him along the way.

But Matti's not with them. He's at home in the borders making what turns out to be a gingerbread house into which the Gingerbread Baby runs. Only Matti knows he is safely inside. And readers will too when they look under the lift-the-flap gingerbread house at the end of the story, and there he is!

Author Notes

Bestselling children's book author and illustrator Jan Brett was born on December 1, 1949. She decided to be an illustrator when she was a child and is known for her detailed and carefully-researched work.

Brett grew up in New England and attended the Boston Museum School. Her books have received much acclaim by publications including Newsweek, The New Yorker, Parents magazine, Redbook, and Publishers Weekly. In 2005 Brett earned the Boston Public Library's Lifetime Achievement Award. Her book Three Little Dassies was published in 2010 and made the New York Times bestseller list. Other of her works that have made the New York Times best seller list are: Home for Christmas 2011, Mossy 2012, Cinders: A Chicken Cinderella., 2014 The Animal's Santa.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Brett (The Mitten; Comet's Nine Lives) presents a rather wordy and wandering version of "The Gingerbread Boy." Impatient for the gingerbread man to bake the full eight minutes that is specified in the cookbook, Matti opens the oven door prematurely and a doughy baby jumps out instead: "I am the Gingerbread Baby,/ Fresh from the pan./ If you want me,/ Catch me if you can." The cherubic child remains at home while his parents and a smattering of animals lead a cumulative chase through the Swiss countryside, depicted in minutely detailed pictures. Within the artist's characteristically intricate borders, windowlike cutouts shaped like gingerbread cookie cutters reveal Matti's activities at home: he bakes, constructs and decorates an elaborate gingerbread house, which he then places in a clearing in the woods. Well ahead of his pursuers, the fugitive cookie discovers the elaborate structure and happily takes refuge inside. The grand finale allows youngsters to lift a flap shaped like the gingerbread house to uncover its new resident, smiling and winking. Brett's fetching art offsets her rather facile narrative in a book likely to please her faithful fans and holiday gift shoppers. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

When a gingerbread baby escapes from the oven, he leads everyone except the boy Matti on a wild chase. In her trademark decorative borders, Brett shows how Matti stays home and bakes a gingerbread house, into which he secretly entices the gingerbread baby. Brett's detailed illustrations offer more interest than does the story--a moderately amusing new take on a familiar tale. From HORN BOOK Spring 2000, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-One might ask if there is a need for yet another retelling of "The Gingerbread Boy." If it's this version, the answer is "yes!" Although the story remains true to the original tale, Brett has added her own touches and a surprise ending. The gingerbread baby slyly eludes both humans and animals, including the wily fox. It takes a very clever little boy to outwit and catch the spicy treat. The illustrations are pure Brett and feature warm colors against a snow-white landscape. The expressive human and animal forms carry this rollicking tale along to its conclusion. Many of the pages have intricate frames depicting scenes from the story and cookie-shaped cutouts that will delight youngsters. Because this story has more characters than other versions, the author cuts some of the repetition to preserve the fast pace. Of course, the familiar refrain "Catch me if you can!" will have little ones joining in and rooting for the gingerbread baby. A delightful confection.-Barbara Buckley, Jericho Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.