“Gingerbread Christmas” is the third book about Gingerbread Baby by New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Jan Brett. Intricate, colorful illustrations created with watercolor and guache depict the lovable cookie character assembling a gingerbread band for a Christmas festival with the help of his friend Matti. As with many of her other books, Brett’s illustrations offer context clues for early readers and foreshadow events through imagery. Matti and Gingerbread Baby lead the other instruments into town; their melodies lure townspeople out of their homes, and entice wild animals out of the woods to dance.
Brett is a Norwell-based artist who has been creating scenes and stories for over 30 years. She is the author of numerous children’s books, with 38 million copies in print. She tours the country by bus, visiting schools and libraries to discuss her recent release and talking to readers about creativity.
“You find it across all cultures—the desire to be creative and to express ourselves—it makes us human. It doesn’t make us rich or smart, but it allows us to feel fulfilled in a really soulful way,” says Brett. On this year’s tour, she will also be talking about music as her latest book, “Gingerbread Christmas,” contains a cast of classical instruments that get into a bit of trouble in the story. “I want my books to have a message of hope. I like it to be real enough so the readers can relate and potentially puzzle it out themselves and maybe use it in their own life,” says Brett. “In this book, Gingerbread Baby and Matti work side by side to solve a problem and they have to think outside the box.”
On November 26 at 10 a.m., Buttonwood Books and Toys will host an event with Jan Brett at the Deer Hill School in Cohasset in conjunction with the release of “Gingerbread Christmas.” There will be coloring activities for kids and Brett will conduct a drawing demonstration so readers can see the artist at work and learn about her process. Copies of her book will also be available to purchase. This event is free and open to the public. 208 Sohier St., Cohasset, 781-383-2665 —Kelly Chase