Seven people with ties to New Brunswick tell about their favourite Christmas or “winter season” stories this month. I’ll highlight a title every other day from now until December 25.

Here’s Loralie Boyle, Children’s Programming Coordinator at the Fredericton Public Library.

What’s your favourite Christmas or “winter season” story, Loralie Boyle?boyle loralie photo

I can’t imagine a Christmas without the delicious and distinct smell of mouth-watering gingerbread coming out of the oven. As a child, I remember decorating gingerbread people with my grandmother every year before Christmas and naming each and every member of the gingerbread family. I cherish that time spent with my grandmother and hope to continue the tradition myself one day. Every December, I share stories about the gingerbread boy with children at the Fredericton Public Library.

Everyone knows the story of the gingerbread boy, right? At least you think you do. My new favourite version is told by Janet Squires, who retells the traditional story in an exciting and unpredictable way. Instead of the story taking place in a snowy winter wonderland, The Gingerbread Cowboy is baked in the middle of the hot, sandy desert on a ranch in the American Southwest. After escaping, he shouts, “Giddyup, giddyup as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man,” and then continues to dash past javelinas, cactuses and grazing cattle as fast as his cowboy boots will carry him. But what happens when he meets a sly coyote sleeping in the sun? You’ll have to read it yourself to find out!

I always wear a wide-brimmed cowboy hat and test out my best southern drawl when reading this tale to children at the library. They love participating in the fun by screaming “Yee-haw!” and “Giddyup!” in unison! This book playfully alters the traditional story and invites us to add alternative books to our holiday favourites!

gingerbread cowboy cover

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The New Brunswick Public Library Service stocks this title. Click the link to see if it’s available near you now. (You can also get most books shipped to your closest library, free of charge.)

Thank you to Loralie Boyle! Follow the library on Twitter: @FredLibrary.

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Have a favourite Xmas or seasonal book? Share it below.

Written by Peter Cullen

Peter Cullen loves to teach children. He specializes in literacy (elementary level) and has a lot of fun creating games and activities for class lessons. He also writes, manages social media accounts and announces roller derby games.

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