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Favorite Picture Books for a Gingerbread Man Unit

Gingerbread men are a staple during the holiday season! So many people are a fan of the little elusive cookie that everyone wishes to devour.

Maybe that’s why there are SO many different versions of the classic story.

But you don’t have to go digging through all of them to find the best picture books for your gingerbread man unit.

Leave that to me!

If you’re looking for a list of read-alouds perfect for your gingerbread man unit, then look no further. These books will have your students engaged and begging you to read them again and again.

Here’s a list of my favorite picture books for a gingerbread man unit.

Who doesn't love gingerbread men? A gingerbread man unit is the perfect theme for November through January! There are so many wonderful picture books of different versions but here are some of my absolute favorites to read aloud to my students every year in kindergarten and first grade! I also included a few activities to go with the books and a freebie!

*You can click on any title to purchase the books via Amazon. These are affiliate links, which means I earn a small percentage if you purchase through these links, at no extra cost to you. I always only recommend resources I love!

Of course, you can also check your library for these titles instead of buying and sometimes you can find the read-alouds on Youtube!

The Gingerbread Man by Jim Aylesworth

This is the classic story, with a little old man and woman baking the gingerbread man who runs away. The students love to interact by saying the refrain out loud and acting out the running. Since it's the original story version, I love to start with this one, then add the variations.

This is the classic story, with a little old man and woman baking the gingerbread man who runs away. The students love to interact by saying the refrain out loud and acting out the running. Since it’s the original story version, I love to start with this one, then add the variations.

You’ll want to grab this graphic organizer for story elements to use with this book. And because I love differentiating, it has different versions to use across different levels.

The Gingerbread Girl by Lisa Campbell Ernst

The fox better watch out for the Gingerbread Man’s sister, the Gingerbread Girl! This book tells what happened when she hears about her big brother’s demise and it’s not good news for that fox (but it does have a happy ending, even for him).

The Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett

I think this is the most beautiful gingerbread man book out there! The gingerbread cookie jumps out of the over before it’s done, which is why it’s a baby! Jan Brett does a great job of telling the main story in the text and illustrations, as well as a “meanwhile” story in the border illustrations.

I think Gingerbread Baby is the most beautiful gingerbread man book out there! The gingerbread cookie jumps out of the over before it's done, which is why it's a baby! Jan Brett does a great job of telling the main story in the text and illustrations, as well as a "meanwhile" story in the border illustrations.

This is a great story for making inferences and predictions. Students will wonder what’s happening in the border illustrations and I usually get a student guess what happens by the end of the book.

Read this post to grab a freebie for making inferences using gingerbread men!

FREE Gingerbread man reading passages! Read this post for favorite gingerbread man picture books!

The Gingerbread Cowboy by Janet Squires

This version of the gingerbread man is amazing for all of the details! I just love the descriptions of the setting, the detailed illustrations, and all of the details it includes related to the setting (animals, food). The Gingerbread Cowboy is a great book to use for showing how a different setting affects the other elements in a story. I also used it as a springboard for writing our own class version!

This book is amazing for all of the details! I just love the descriptions of the setting, the detailed illustrations, and all of the details it includes related to the setting (animals, food). It’s a great book to use for showing how a different setting affects the other elements in a story. I also used it as a springboard for writing our own class version!

Comparing Stories

Because there are so many different versions, gingerbread man books are perfect for comparing and contrasting! We complete a comparison chart for the above 4 books. Below, I’ll share a few more great books we read but don’t add to our chart.

If you're planning a gingerbread man unit, you'll definitely want to read this post! I share my favorite picture books for a gingerbread man unit and some ideas, including this compare and contrast chart.

More Picture Books for a Gingerbread Man Unit

The Gingerbread Man Loose in School by Laura Murray

One my favorite picture books for a gingerbread man unit! Take your kids on an adventure around your school with a hunt for this elusive little cookie!

Laura Murray has a series of books where the gingerbread man “goes loose” in different places, including Loose on the Fire Truck, Loose at Christmas, and Loose at the Zoo. My favorite one, though, is when the gingerbread man gets loose in school. Kids can relate to the places he visits and it’s the perfect way to introduce a school gingerbread man hunt!

The NinjaBread Man by C.J. Leigh

If you have any martial arts fans, this book is a must! Students will love hearing how the Ninjabread Man escapes with a bow, throwing ninja cookie stars. . . until he meets the Ninja Fox, that is!

What a great version of The Gingerbread Man! The Ninjabread Man is adorable and appeals to kids with its martial arts theme!

The Library Gingerbread Man by Dotti Enderle

In this book, the g-man runs through the library and gets chased by different types of characters! It’s a great way to talk about genres and characters (and of course, library rules!).

In Conclusion. . .

You can’t go wrong with any of these gingerbread books, but I’m partial to “The Gingerbread Man” by Jim Aylesworth, maybe because it was one of the first I ever read. Did I miss any of your favorites?

As you read the books, keep track of the story elements with a comparison chart! My Gingerbread Man Bundle has all the pieces you need for these books. 

For more ideas on incorporating a gingerbread man unit in your classroom, be sure to check out this post: Gingerbread Man Activities for the Classroom

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