The Ginger Bread Man
The Ginger Bread Man book cover
"What's the worst that could happen?" This simple question is the beginning of one young man's journey from corporate employee to local craftsman. The Ginger Bread Man is a light and humorous novel about running away from the ovens of mediocrity and avoiding the foxes that seek to fool us. In this inspiring story, a man named Jacob runs away from his seemingly secure but faceless and unfulfilling office job. A wise and mysterious baker teaches him sixteen principles about making bread...and living life.
The Ginger Bread Man - Parent and Teacher Resources

Discussion Questions

  1. How is Jacob like the gingerbread man in the classic children’s poem? Does the poem inspire Jacob, or does he simply fulfill the prophesy of the verses?

  2. Who is the baker? What does he represent?

  3. How do the baker’s principles relate to baking and life in general? In what ways does Jacob live the principles?

  4. What is the significance of the different types of protein and the role of each in baking? How does this relate to life in general?

  5. What does the glass display case represent to the baker? To Jacob?

  6. Who are the “foxes” the baker refers to throughout the story? What do they represent?

  7. What is the significance of people who are unnamed within the story, such as the man in the blue suit?

  8. How do the custom gingerbread men relate to the “windows” and Jacob’s curiosity about them?

  9. What archetype characters do each of the merchants represent? What role does each play in the story?

  10. How does the relationship between Jacob and Kate relate to his journey to become the baker?

  11. What is Marlow’s role in the story? How does he help Jacob transform his life?

  12. How is Jacob similar to the baker? How is he different?

  13. What challenges does Jacob face throughout the story and how does he overcome them?

  14. Why does Jacob choose to destroy the information about the baker without looking at it?

Articles and Activities

"Baker's Principles" Article

"Out of the Oven" - Discussion Article

"Finding the Recipe" - Discussion Article

"Workplace Stress" - Discussion Article

Three-Season Gingerbread Recipe

One of Jacob's successes in the bakery is the creation of three-season gingerbread. Three-season gingerbread is a lighter tasting gingerbread that is not just for the flavor richness we associate with the hoidays. The mild taste of ginger and cloves hints at winter and reminds you of holidays any time of the year. Here is the recipe:


1 cup of margarine
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
1 cup of molasses
4 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 ½ teaspoons of baking soda
½ teaspoons of ground cloves
½ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon



1. In a mixing bowl combine margarine, molasses, egg, cinnamon and sugar. Mix until smooth and creamy. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate overnight.

2. Lightly flour a surface and roll out the dough to approximately 1/8th inch thickness.

3. Cut into desired shapes and place 1 inch apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 to 9 minutes.

Makes 5 to 6 dozen cookies.


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© 2017-2019 by Dominic R. Villari

230 N. Maple Ave. Ste B1 #345, Marlton, NJ 08053