Russian folktale about the adventures of a little Butterball named Kolobok, who was baked by an elderly childless couple. This story is well known in America as The Gingerbread Man; in Scandinavia — as The Pancake Man. In this production, the adventures of Kolobok are seen through the eyes of two forest creatures, performed by live actors who bring to life the floor puppets –animals in traditional Russian costumes. The bright, sunny, cheerful colors of the scenery and costumes help create the atmosphere of the magical forest. With originally composed music and lyrics, this musical is fun for all ages.
Kolobok or The Gingerbread Boy
Kolobok is the Russian version of the The Gingerbread Boy. To prepare students for the visit of PuppetART’s production of Kolobok you should revisit the well-known version of The Gingerbread Man. Kolobok is not a cookie but a little fat dumpling like a bun. In this version he is created by an old lady and old man and of course he runs away. The puppets are the various animals that Kolobok meets in the forest. In this version he finds his way home safely despite the fox’s trying to eat him.
Prepare students for the play by having them make simple Gingerbread Boy paper plate masks of the different characters. Children can act out the story very easily in small groups.
Discussion can focus on the students approve of the typical ending where the Gingerbread Boy is eaten. Children can comment on the fact the Gingerbread Boy thinks he can outsmart and outrun everyone but in the end he is tricked by the sly fox. The fox is a classic trickster character. Children may discuss their feelings about tricking people and being tricked.
After seeing Kolobok children will be in an ideal position to compare and contrast the two stories. A Venn diagram may be used as a starting point but ultimately some kind of artistic response to the show may prove to be the most important response. Drawing their favorite character or making a mask of their favorite character and acting out that part are good activities. Writing a letter to one of the characters. Writing a letter to PuppetART expressing what each child liked is another good follow-up acitivity.
BOOKS TO READ
The following books have been selected after reviewing them page-by-page.
1. The Gingerbread man – retold by E. Kimmel. Illus by M. Lloyd Holiday House, N.Y., 1993
2. The Gingerbread Boy – by P. Goldone. Clarion Books. NY, 1975
3. Gingerbread baby – by J. Brett. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, NY, 1999.
4. Russian Fairy Tales ( The Bun ). Russian version. Collected by A. Afanas’ev Pantheon Books, NY, 1975
5. The Bun. A tale from Russia – by M.Brown. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc, NY, 1993
6. Musubi Man: Hawaii’s Gingerbread Man – by S.Takayama, illus by P.Hall. Bess Press, 1997
7. The Pancake Man and Friends ( Scandinavian Version ) – by R.Speight. Dimensions for Living, 1992
8. More Stories from the Pancake man – by R.Speight. Dimensions for Living, 1993 POETRY
1. Gingerbread man – by Bennett, Rowena. The Ecco Press, 1995
2. A child’s Anthology of Poetry, edited by E.H.Sword, illus by T.Rohrt
1. Yuri Vasnetsov – Russian Folk Art. Transl by A.Miller. Aurora Art Publishers, Leningrad, 1984.
Book Illustrations for children.
2. How Artists see Animals – by C.Carrol. Abbeville Publish Groop, 1996.
Learn about the World looking at Art and about Art — by looking at the World.
3. The Spirit of Folk Art – by H.Glassie. Harry N.Abrams, Inc. NY, 1995.
The Collection at the Museum of International Folk Art.
4. The Gingerbread man – by C.Gossett.
A Thematic Unit to teach Language Arts and Fine Arts. Print included.
1. CD. Balalaika Favorites – Russian Folk music. Philips Classics Productions, NY, 1992.
2. CD. Kalinka. Teldec Classics. International GMBH, 1992.
Russian Folk music, by The Red Army Chorus.
3. CD. Petrushka – ballet. I.Stravinsky. Russian Classical Music.
4. CD. The Golden Cockerel. Tzar Saltan. Music by Rimsky-Korsakov. Polygram, 1981.
Rotterdam Philharmony Orchestra.
5. CD. A Jorney to Russia. Sunset, France, 2001.
6. CD. Kid’s Classics. ( Mad about ). Polygram Records, Inc, NY, 1994.
Prokofiev – Peter and Wolf; Mussorgsky – Bald Mountain
1. Russia – by K.B.Murrell. Dorling Kindersley, 2000.
Discover the turbulent past of this vast land.
2. Colors of Russia – by S.Zemlicka. Carolrhoda Books, Inc, 2002.
3. Mother Russia – by J.Hubbs. Indiana, 1988.
1. The first Thousand words in Russian – by H.Amery and K.Kirilenko. Usborn Publish LTD, 1983.
Easy pronunciation guide included.
1. Why do leaves change color ? – by B.Maestro. Harper Collins Publ, Inc, 1994
2. What do you do when Something wants to eat you ? – by S.Jenkings.
Houghton Mifflin Co, Boston, NY, 1997
1. Explore Different Versions ( of the Gingerbread Man Story ).
2. Gingerbread Man …. eaten by the Fox. Write a new ending to the story.
1. The Puppet Book. L.Wall, G.White, A.Philpott.
A complete and practical guide to Puppetry — for schools — which covers all types of Puppets.
2. You can make a string puppet. R.Slade. ( the school librarien ). With 23 photo’s by J.Watts.
3. Judy’s and Andrew’s Puppet Book – by M.Goaman.
An introductionary book for children who want to make puppets and run their shows.