The Gingerbread Princess
by Lorraine Fimbres
Trafford Publishing

"The Gingerbread Man would always run out the door and run away every time the oven door was open. So, she needed a plan."

From the familiar "once upon a time" opening, to the sugary wrap-up of "they lived happily ever after," Lorraine Fimbres' The Gingerbread Princess pays delightful homage to the time-honored Gingerbread Man children's classic, but with a surprising twist.

While the history of children's literature includes fairytales and fables that sometimes entertain a somber tone, here Fimbres' offering is clearly a more kid-friendly alternative to the less than pleasing outcome given to the original story's central character. This updated version continues to focus on the runaway spiced cookie character and his Houdini-like antics, as he comes to life out of the oven and gets chased by humans and animals alike. But instead of meeting his ultimate demise when he's outwitted by a sly fox who offers to transport him across a river, now the author presents a different enticement. Fimbres' lighthearted approach incorporates the age old premise of boy meets girl, or more specifically gingerbread man meets gingerbread princess. It's a sweet story, with a delicious finish.

Graphic designer Judy Holt offers bright and colorful illustrations. Through eye-catching detail she renders a warm and inviting atmosphere featuring a country farm with well-tended gardens and a comforting home with welcoming touches of over-stuffed chairs, fringed rugs, house plants, family portraits, and pets. These visual elements all neatly correspond with the days of the week story line that keeps the action at a smooth and consistent pace. All that's missing from Fimbres' rendition is the popular refrain echoed in an earlier tale: "Run, run as fast as you can, You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man." Though now it seems the gingerbread man's curiosity about a baked gingerbread castle and a beautiful spicy princess are enough to slow him down.

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