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Señor Coyote who convinces her to get the grasshopper that is stuck in his throat. version of the original tale—but with a female main character.

A southwestern

Sweden Brett, Jan. The Gingerbread Baby. G.P. Putnam, New York: ©1999.

Matti, a Swiss boy, bakes the Gingerbread Baby all by himself, but is too impatient to follow the recipe directions. As he looks into the oven a little to early, the Gingerbread baby jumps from the oven and escapes. As the story continues with the gingerbread baby being pursued by Matti's mother and father, a tabby cat, a dog, some goats, two little girls, a pig, and, of course, a fox. However, the fox is not the gingerbread baby’s demise. Instead it is Matti’s idea, he races home to work on his plan to catch the Gingerbread Baby as the rest of the chase continues--you can watch the progress of his idea in the sidebars of the pictures. A lift-the-flap page at the end reveals that his plan succeeds when he cleverly catches the Gingerbread baby in a gingerbread house. A clever and not-so tragic twist to the original ending.

Jewish Kimmelman, Leslie. The Runaway Latkes. A. Whitman, Morton Grove, IL: ©2000.

A Jewish version featuring several latkes that rolls to escape having no intentions of being eaten in celebration of Hanukkah. The latkes jump from a frying pan and roll away. The three singing latkes are chased by a host of all human characters-- Rebecca (the young cook), a rabbi, a cantor, two boys, the mayor and the police. All the rolling around town causes the latkes to feel so hot, so they roll towards a cool river. Just as they plop into the river, appropriately named Applesauce River, the river miraculously and appropriately turns into applesauce. The crowd, hungry from chasing the latkes, eats them up on the spot!

Chinese Compestine, Ying Chang. The Runaway Rice Cake. New York: Simon and Schuster, ©2001.

As the poor Chang family prepares to celebrate the Chinese New Year, Momma Chang prepares a the nián-gão (rice cake) which comes to life, jumps out of the pan, and runs away. It runs through the village chased by the Changs, several different animals, and various market-people. It is finally caught when it knocks over a hungry old woman and gets caught in her skirt. The Chang’s offer their only food, the rice cake, and the rice cake willingly gives itself to her. The old woman promptly eats the whole thing, leaving the Changs with nothing at all. However, upon their return home the neighbors, who heard what happened, each bring the Changs a little food. The “kitchen god” then rewards their unselfishness with a feast of food for everyone to share. Includes two recipes, a pronunciation guide and brief information about the Chinese New Year celebration.


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