Story Cue Card - The Gingerbread Boy


Bibliographic Information (best version for telling):

The Gingerbread Boy Illustrated  by Scott Cook

Published by Alfred A. Knopf Inc. 1987 New York


Ethnic Origin: English (England)


Running Time: approximately 6 minutes and 46 seconds


Power Center(s): Speed of the gingerbread boy, childhood taunts, skipping, running, playing, chasing, taste of gingerbread(dessert)


I choose these power centers because these aspects appeal to the child in me. When I was a child I loved taunting people, I loved to run and ride as fast as the wind. These power centers are what I think are the essence of childhood. I choose them to try and convey an overall sense of freedom and care freeness in the story telling.



Little Old Woman, Little Old Man, Little Gingerbread Boy, Cow, Horse, Barn full of threshers, Field full of mowers, Fox



1.      Little old woman makes gingerbread boy. Gingerbread boy runs away. The little old woman and little old man chase him.

2.      Gingerbread boy meets a cow and runs away from him. The cow chases him.

3.      Gingerbread boy meets a horse and runs away from him. The horse chases him.

4.      Gingerbread boy meets a barn full of threshers and runs away from them. The threshers chase him.

5.      Gingerbread boy meets a field full of mowers and runs away from them. The mowers chase him.

6.      Gingerbread boy meets a fox and runs away from him. The fox tricks the Gingerbread boy and he gets to eat him in the end.


Synopsis: A gingerbread boy runs away from the woman who made him and her husband. The Gingerbread Boy meets a cow and talks briefly with it and then runs away from it when it tries to eat him. A horse in a pasture tries to eat the Gingerbread Boy and does not prove quick enough. The Gingerbread Boy meets several threshers in a barn. They chase him because of his wonderful smell. He escapes them. The Gingerbread Boy then meets a field of mowers. They chase him because he looks delicious. Just when he thinks no one can catch him, he meets a clever fox.  The Gingerbread Boy continues to run but a river blocks his way. The fox offers to take the Gingerbread Boy across the river and the Gingerbread Boy agrees. The Gingerbread Boy trusts the fox and continues to do as the fox says. The fox asks the Gingerbread Boy to move up from his tail to his back, and then from his shoulder to his nose. When the fox gets to the other side of the river, he eats the Gingerbread Boy.


Rhymes/Special Phrases/"Flavors":


"I have run away from a little old woman,

A little old man,

A cow,

A horse,

A barn full of threshers,

A field full of mowers,

And I can run away from you I can!"


"Run! run! as fast as you can! You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!




Children from three to five years old respond to rhythm and repetition; simple, direct plots in which familiarity is mixed with surprise; short dialogue; clear and simple images; action that quickly builds to a climax; and a satisfying ending.


Above quote from Ellin Greene's Storytelling Art & Technique © 1996 p.51


The Gingerbread Boy is an energetic story that can involve audience participation from children. It also provides the opportunity to cook gingerbread or to provide sweets to children that are good listeners. This tale could also involve a gingerbread manhunt, with one lucky child the winner of the coveted prize.


Bibliographic Information on other versions/variants (at least two)?

The Gingerbread Man Retold by Jim Aylesworth Scholastic Press © 1998 New York

The Gingerbread Boy by Galdone Clarion Books © 1975 New York

The Stinky Cheese Man by John Scieszka ??

The Cajun Gingerbread Boy by Berthe Amoss ??


Brief comparison of all versions/variants in terms of language, rhythm, "tellability," "flavor," content, etc. Stress the difference in style rather than those of content.


I found many different versions of The Gingerbread Boy Story.


The Gingerbread Boy Story is the similar to the Gingerbread Boy story I read. The characters and plot all follow the same direction. The style of the book is more like poetry stanzas than the version I read. The poetry creates the problem of trying to find the correct rhyming pattern in the words. Telling this story would require that the stanzas be memorized and retold verbatim. An inexperienced reader like myself may stumble between transitions when mentally trying to connect how the last paragraph rhymed with the first. The paragraphs do not all rhyme. I felt that this distracts me the teller and could possibly distract listeners.


The Gingerbread Man story is also a different version of the story that I am reading. I wanted to keep the characters close to the initial telling and the characters are changed in this version. It has the same stanza like structure versus a story like structure that has one or two memorable phrases. At the end the fox pretended he could not hear and I did not find that ending to be pleasing. The language was a little stilted and proper in the stanzas.


“Once upon a time there was a little old man and a little old woman. One day, the little old woman said, “Let’s make a gingerbread man!” “Yes, let’s do!” said the little old man and they did.


The Gingerbread Man sounds like a angry child in this version.


“No! No! I won’t come back! I rather run than be your snack!”



I was unable to physically find variants of this story but I saw many of the

titles online.


The Cajun Gingerbread Boy by Berthe Amoss ??


From Mary Clayton Rowen - Children's Literature 

This 'rebaked' version of the well-known story is set in Louisiana. As the Gingerbread Boy attempts his great escape, the reader gets a feel for the lay of the land as we follow him through swamps and bayous, past vegetation and wildlife. Interspersed throughout the story, adding further flavor, are various French words and phrases. A neat aspect is the cardboard gingerbread boy that fits into slits on each page. The last page includes a recipe for Cajun Gingerbread Boys.


Above quote from Barnes and Noble


This story would be interesting to tell with the dialect. I believe that I chose correctly for my first story because the language and description are simple. This story may be one that could be used once my story telling technique is polished.


The Stinky Cheese Man by John Scieszka ??


But "The Stinky Cheese Man" isn't a book for little ones. It will take older children (that's teens along with 10s) to follow the disordered story lines and appreciate the narrative's dry wit, wordplay, and wacky, sophomoric jokes.


Above quote from Barnes and Noble


There are also story versions /variants in which the boy is a different substance. In some versions he is a fleeing pancake, or a Johnnycake. The versions and variants also contain different animals that get to eat him. In one version a pig takes him across the river.


Overall, I enjoy the cleverness of the fox and the taste of gingerbread boys. I felt like this story was the best of all of the tales so I am sticking with it.