Gingerbread wonderland: Ginger the hedgehog’s holiday book released, readings announced

When I took my hedgehog Ginger to The Spice Drop Villas gingerbread wonderland last Christmas, she transported me to a place of holiday dreams, a land where gingerbread people come alive and frosting is deceptively sweet.

The Spice Drop Villas photo-illustrated children’s book engages the inventiveness of young children. The book blends the worlds of fiction and nonfiction as Ginger, a real-life African pygmy hedgehog, takes a trip to a gingerbread village created under our Christmas tree. She learns just how sweet building a gingerbread house can be, and finds herself in a little bit of mischief along the way.

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Creating the set for The Spice Drop Villas was a feat in and of itself. Each house in the village was inspired by a spice — cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Cinnamon sticks grace the roof of the Cinnamon Inn. Walnuts shingle the Nutmeg Hut. The Cloves Cottage is sheltered in pumpkin pie. Gingerbread cookies top the Ginger Cabin. Each cabin’s “dirt” path is made of its spice. Spice drops color the gingerbread wonderland.

Ginger, of course, stays in the Ginger Cabin after a long gingerbread train ride with her parents. She brings her hedgehog-sized suitcase.

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Ginger meets new friends in The Spice Drop Villas and learns how a gingerbread house is built. Of most interest to her is the sweet frosting that makes the houses stick together. She finds herself in a bit of mischief after her sweet tooth and curiosity get the best of her. Thankfully, someone special comes to her rescue.

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Ginger can take your child, grandchild, niece or nephew along with her on her trip to The Spice Drop Villas! Visit the Quill Village Shop.

Ginger has four upcoming holiday book events where you can meet Ginger and purchase books:

•Ginger will be appearing with Santa at Re/Max in Excelsior from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. Treats, beverages, read The Spice Drop Villas, meet Ginger and have her sign your book with her hedgehog stamp! 2500 Shadywood Road #400, Excelsior, MN 55331

•We will read The Spice Drop Villas during storytime at the Shoreview Library at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10. Meet Ginger! 4560 Victoria St N, Shoreview, MN 55126

•Ginger will come for storytime at GoodKids downtown White Bear Lake at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 18. Ginger will sign books with her hedgehogs stamp. 4758 Banning Ave, White Bear Lake, MN 55110

•Join Ginger at the free gingerbread house making event at the Shoreview Library from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 21. Build a gingerbread house and meet Ginger, who will sign books with her hedgehog stamp. 4560 Victoria St N, Shoreview, MN 55126

Sara Marie Moore is author and photographer of “The Spike Cream Woods,” a photo-illustrated children’s book featuring her pet hedgehog Ginger in a fanciful ice cream forest, and “The Spice Drop Villas,” Ginger’s trip to a gingerbread village wonderland.

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