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1001 Stories Collection

The Gingerbread Man

1001 thegingerbreadman
Added on 01st July 2020

Oral tradition European and American Folktale

UK and Ireland Europe Animals Folk and fairy tales
1001 , Audio , Text , Storymap

A popular story about a runaway biscuit.

Story

When an old woman is baking gingerbread, she cuts a piece in the shape of a boy and puts it in the oven. As soon as he is cooked, the gingerbread man leaps up and runs away. The woman and her husband give chase, but are outrun by the brisk biscuit. Soon, other animals join the pursuit. Will anyone catch him?

Why we chose it

The Gingerbread Man is a well known fairy tale and a favourite with Story Museum visitors. It was one of the stories in our original audio stories collection. These stories are particularly suitable for learning to retell.

Where it came from

The Gingerbread Man was was first published in an 1875 issue of St. Nicholas Magazine in the USA. The author was told the story by a girl from Maine and decided to write it down. However, oral stories about runaway food had been popular across Europe for decades, most famously the story of The Fleeing Pancake.

Where it went next

Tales of runaway foods have spread across the world, from The Runaway Tortilla (2000) by Eric Kimmel to The Runaway Rice Cake (2001) by Ying Chang. The gingerbread man is a popular nursery rhyme character and has appeared in numerous songs, plays, books and films, perhaps most notably as the character Gingy in Shrek.

Associated stories

The tale of the runaway gingerbread man has inspired many other stories, including The Stinky Cheese Man (1992) by Jon Sciezka and The Gingerbread Girl (2006) by Lisa Campbell

Added on 01st July 2020

Oral tradition European and American Folktale

UK and Ireland Europe Animals Folk and fairy tales
1001 , Audio , Text , Storymap

Story Resources

  • The Gingerbread Man story map PDF (268.146 KB)
    Download
  • The Gingerbread Man story text PDF (201.317 KB)
    Download