Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Review - Gingerbread Christmas

Gingerbread Christmas (Jan Brett's Gingerbread)
by Jan Brett
Date: 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

Jan Brett’s beloved character the Gingerbread Baby returns in a fun-filled Christmas caper!

Gingerbread Baby and his friend, Matti, take his gingerbread band to the Christmas Festival where they are a hit until the aroma of gingerbread reaches the children, signaling that it is time to run away. Clever Matti uses snow to disguise the gingerbread instruments while Gingerbread Baby leads the audience on a merry chase to the smartest hiding place ever--a giant Christmas tree.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Maybe I'm just too old for books about sentient baked goods.

I think this book will probably have more appeal to fans of the series. This is the first one I've read, so I was a bit lost. Who is this Matti kid, and how can he make magical gingerbread? That part of the book seems to rely on knowledge of previous volumes.

The story didn't impress me much. Or, rather, the characters didn't impress me much. The villagers are so stupid! When they see magical gingerbread instruments playing music, what's their first thought? Well, you'd think it might be something like, "Wow! Magic gingerbread!" Alas, it's more like, "Let's eat!" (Perhaps the villagers have seen Matti's magical baked goods before, so it's not a big deal. Again, I felt like I was missing something.) At the end, the Gingerbread Baby has to run away and hide in a giant Christmas tree lest he be eaten. I read this as an e-book, but I think the page with the Christmas tree actually folds out (that's what it looked like, anyway). I could just make out the Gingerbread Baby in his very detailed hiding place. And that brings me to my favourite part of the book: the illustrations. They were so charming, detailed and fairly realistic (at least where the people and animals were concerned). There's a lot to look at on each page, since there's gingerbread decoration surrounding each two-page spread.

I think I might've liked this one better if I was more familiar with the characters and the overall premise. But the illustrations are great. This would be a nice Christmas book for fans of Brett's work, especially if they've read the rest of this series.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.67 out of 5

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