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The Gingerbread Man Vacations at South 'n France

Where would you hide if a fox wanted to eat you for a meal? That was the question my 6-year-old friend, Olivia (who lives in Fairfax County, Virginia), had to answer after her teacher read a version of the beloved Gingerbread Man classic to her first-grade class.

For those of you unfamiliar with the tale, The Gingerbread Man is a delicious lifelike cookie, decorated from head to toe in icing and candies. He bolts from the oven and outruns a farm family, a pig, an artist, a cow, a dog walker, and some children at recess–but he can't outrun the hungry fox who is on the hunt for him!

Although many people know the ill-fated Gingerbread Man (or Boy), few are familiar with his more clever sister, The Gingerbread Girl. This is the story that Olivia and her class read. When she is baked, the Gingerbread Girl runs away "with a leap and a twirl." Like her brother, she flees from a cast of characters until she meets the fox, who slyly agrees to a safe trip ashore. It looks like Gingerbread Girl will go the way of her brother, but she turns out to be a smart cookie with a clever plan....

As a project, the students made their own gingerbread people and picked vacation destinations for each of them to hide from the fox. Olivia decided to send hers to--you guessed it--South 'n France! Here are some pictures of our Gingerbread friend's adventures in Bon Bon Land:


Olivia's Gingerbread Boy (she chose a boy instead of a girl) arrives at South 'n France.


He was very quick to make new friends...


...even grumpy ones!


He got straight to work helping Pascal make bon bons.


Here he is enjoying his creations...even a Gingerbread Man can't resist a handmade bon bon!


In fact, Gingerbread liked our bon bons so much, he purchased a whole bag full as souvenirs and took them back to Olivia's classroom in Virginia so her classmates (and teachers too!) could try our handmade chocolate bon bons!

It was a very eventful vacation, indeed. We spoke with Olivia after presenting her Gingerbread Man's vacation to the class. We wanted to know what the other children thought of his vacation. "They thought it was cool!!!", said Olivia. "Where is the Gingerbread Man, now?", we asked. "In the finished work basket at school", replied Olivia. It looks like his working vacation with Pascal wore him out. The Gingerbread Man is now officially retired!

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