Author, Former Teacher, For School Visits please visit Speakers Bureau Page
Hi! I'm Laura Murray, children's author, teacher, and mom of three mischief makers. Kids inspire me, fascinate me, and make me laugh. So, hopefully I can return the favor with my books and school presentations.
My books were inspired by my students' favorite unit – The School Gingerbread Man Hunt. At the beginning of each school year, a freshly baked Gingerbread Man managed to escape from our class. We hung missing posters and searched the halls, discovering crumbs and dropped candies, as we asked school staff members where he might be. But somehow, he always found his way back to our classroom on his own – one smart cookie! Still I couldn’t help but wonder what adventures he’d had while he was out and about.
I am currently writing future picture books and a middle-grade novel. I live with my family in Northern Virginia, where we enjoy hiking, creek-wading, historical scavenger hunts, and getting lost just to discover new places!
- “The Gingerbread Man heads to school in this delightful reshuffling of the traditional tale. Told in spot-on, deadpan rhyme and illustrated in large, comic-book-style panels, this title will leave kids giggling as they follow the G-man’s efforts to be reunited with his class…the reinvention of a venerable figure is funny to the max.” - Ilene Cooper, Horn Book
- “Teachers looking for a new way to start off the school year will eat this one up.” —Kirkus Reviews
- Publisher’s Weekly Picture Book Bestseller
- 2014 Winner of the Virginia Reader’s Choice Award
- 2014 Winner of the Illinois Children’s Choice Monarch Award
- 2014-2015 Indiana Children’s Choice Award Nominee
- 2013-2014 Nevada, and South Dakota Reader's Choice Award Nominee
- 2012-2013 Florida Children's Choice Honor Book
- 2012-2013 Washington, Mississippi, Kentucky Children's Choice Nominee
- Scholastic Book Club and Fair Selection
- Junior Library Guild Selection
- Chicago Public Library Best of the Best book
- * Starred ALA Booklist Review
- Finalist SCBWI Crystal Kite Award
- 2012 Featured in NY Society of Illustrators Original Art Show
GP Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 2011
Illustrations by Mike Lowery
The Gingerbread Man’s newest adventure, is a rollicking, rhyming, romp through the fire station with a crumb-snatching Dalmatian close behind. But when the firefighters get a call, can you guess who races to the fire along with them?
“I’ll put out that fire, as fast as I can.
I know I can help! I’m the Gingerbread Man.”
- “This rapid-fire reboot of a traditional favorite will be requested read-aloud for high-energy listeners…this sequel doesn’t disappoint.” - Kirkus Reviews
- “In his second adventure, the irrepressible cookie joins the students who created him on a visit to the fire station, where his efforts to avoid a Dalmatian’s snapping jaws result in a wild chase and a heart- and hose-pumping finale. Energetic cartoons, rhyming text, and hilarious antics make this a kid-pleasing read-aloud.” - Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
- “Sound the alarm; you’ll definitely want this one on your shelf before those October field trips to the fire station begin.” – Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
- 2015 Dolly Parton Imagination Library Selection
- Scholastic Book Fair and Book Clubs
GP Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 2013
Illustrations by Mike Lowery
*Poster with activities included
- It's Christmas, and this spunky Gingerbread man and his class are preparing for the holiday season by creating gifts of appreciation. What follows is a class trip through the town to pass these thank yous to the local community helpers. Gingerbread Man wants to deliver his gift to the community helper he appreciates most, but when the speedster's cookie feet meet the wet city sidewalks, disaster almost occurs. With its fun, bouncy text and comic book panel-style illustrations, smart cookies ... will eat this one up. Brooke Sheets, School Library Journal
- "The rhyming text is patter-perfect, with lots of humor and action… A jolly treat with a sweet acknowledgement of the gifts teachers give their students all year long."—Kirkus Reviews
- The goggle-eyed Gingerbread Man, star of Murray and Lowery's eponymous series, has a heartwarming holiday message to share. Lowery's childlike figures playfully fill the panels with friendly faces, while the bouncy rhythm, particularly the recurring refrain that riffs on the classic "You can't catch me. I'm the Gingerbread Man!" will make read-alouds a treat. Though the holiday focus is solidly on Christmas, it sticks to themes of gift giving, good cheer, and showing appreciation for neighbors and teachers. - Sarah Hunter – Booklist
- In the Gingerbread Man's third picture book, he and his human classmates are busy delivering gifts around town, from homemade cards and treats, to songs "with jingle-bell beats." The GB Man is eager to participate, but... slushy streets and legs made of dough are a less-than-ideal combination. Lowery's use of comics-style panels and the rhythms of Murray's verse keep the story moving as quickly as its confectionary hero. The emphasis on generosity and humble, heartfelt gifts makes for sweet holiday reading! – Publisher’s Weekly
- 2015 Best Holiday Books for Kids – San Diego Family Magazine & Fox 5 San Diego
- 2015 Horn Book Holiday High Notes
- 2015 Best Book Ever (This Week) – All the Wonders
The Gingerbread Man Loose at the Zoo (August 2016)
It’s Zippity Zoo day, and the Gingerbread Man and his classmates get to solve riddles on a field trip scavenger hunt!
“I’ll be a detective. I know that I can! I’ll solve all these clues. I’m the Gingerbread Man!”
But a zoo full of critters is a tricky place for a tasty cookie – even a very fast one. Animals galore and a trail of clues make the Gingerbread Man's latest adventure his WILDEST one yet!
*Poster with activities included.
Here is a link to a fun Book Trailer for The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School. Great for classroom skills like prediction, sequencing, and inference.