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Modern Interpretations of Gingerbread Man

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The story of Gingerbread Man and its themes have appeared in literature and other forms of art. This page provides a small discussion of some of the better known treatments by authors and other artists.

Literature   Poetry   Music   Film   Theatre

Literature: Novels

None so far!

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Literature: Short Stories

Black Thorn, White Rose

Atwood, Margaret. "Making a Man." Good Bones and Simple Murders. New York: Nan A. Talese, 2001.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardback.


Can't Catch Me : And Other Twice-Told Tales by Michael CadnumBlack Thorn, White Rose

Cadnum, Michael. "Can't Catch Me." Black Thorn, White Rose. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, eds. New York: Avon, 1995.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardback or paperback.


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Bennett, Rowena Bastin. "The Gingerbread Man." Sing a Song of Popcorn: Every Child's Book of Poems. New York: Scholastic, 1988.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover.

Also available in:
Bennett, Rowena Bastin. "The Gingerbread Man." A Child's Anthology of Poetry. Elizabeth Hauge Sword, editor. New York: Ecco Press, 1997.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover.

Thomas, Joyce Carol. "A Gingered January." Gingerbread Days: Poems. New York: Joanna Cotler Books, 1995.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.

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I have listed primarily classical compositions of music using the themes of this fairy tale in either ballet, opera or some other musical style. I have also provided links to popular recordings of the music when available at Amazon.com. The advantage to these links is that you can listen to samples of the music at no charge.

Tommy James and the Shondells. "The Gingerbread Man." Mony Mony. Tommy James and Mike Vale, composers.

Sherman, Bobby. "Sweet Gingerbread Man." With Love, Bobby. Marilyn & Alan Bergman and Michael Legrand, composers. Metromedia, 1970.

The song was part of the soundtrack for the movie "The Secret Garden of Stanley Sweetheart".

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To learn more about these films, please visit the
Internet Movie Database.

Shrek DVD

Shrek (2001). Andrew Adamson, director.
Buy the movie on VHS. or
Buy the movie on DVD.

I have included Shrek in this category since one of the more popular characters in the film is the Gingerbread Man who stars in his own comic scene.

ANIMATED FILM: William Steig's delightfully fractured fairy tale is the right stuff for this computer-animated adaptation full of verve and wit. Our title character (voiced by Mike Myers) is an agreeable enough ogre who wants to live his days in peace. When the diminutive Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow) evicts local fairy-tale creatures (including the now-famous Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, and the Gingerbread Man), they settle in the ogre's swamp and Shrek wants answers from Farquaad. A quest of sorts starts for Shrek and his new pal, a talking donkey (Eddie Murphy), where battles have to be won and a princess (Cameron Diaz) must be rescued from a dragon lair in a thrilling action sequence.

The Gingerdead Man (2004). William Butler, director.

Comedy horror. "Three blood related criminals are sentanced to the electric chair after the testmony of Sarah Leigh, and later they are cremated, but their ashes are mistakenly sent not to their mother but to a small backery where their ashes are mixed with cook batter, and while cooking, the Gingerbread Men come to life and take their vengeance." (IMDB.com) Not for kids!

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The Gingerbread Man: A Folktale Play for Children

Mutz, Martha. The Gingerbread Man: A Folktale Play for Children. Los Angeles: Curiosity Canyon Press, 1996.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in paperback.

PLAY: A play written for children to perform.

Wood, David. The Gingerbread Man. New York: Samuel French.

FULL-LENGTH PLAY: Play with music. While the Big Ones sleep, plenty of activity is taking place in the kitchen. The cuckoo-clock has lost his voice and might end up in the trash if he doesn't recover it. The salt shaker and the pepper mill try to help but run afoul of the Old Tea Bag. Danger also comes from a voracious mouse and the poison set out by the Big Ones to destroy the vermin. All is resolved by morning and the unobservant Big Ones are none the wiser.

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©Heidi Anne Heiner, SurLaLune Fairy Tales
Page created 1/2004; Last updated 7/9/07