The Gingerbread Train: Santa’s Secret Gift – Book Review & Gift Set Giveaway

The Gingerbread Train

The Gingerbread Train by Ann Tarpley Francesco – Book Review

When you were young, were you blessed with a vivid imagination? Did you find it easy to dream of imaginary people, places and things? Do you enjoy sharing stories with your children that are both creative and educational in nature?

If so, your family will delight in the reading of The Gingerbread Train: Santa’s Secret Gift by Ann Tarpley Francesco!

The Gingerbread Train is a very special book that was originally written as a Christmas present for the author’s children, Matthew and Courtney. Can you imagine how exciting it must have been for them to find themselves featured as the main characters in a book about Matthew and his favorite pastime – trains!

Matthew loves trains. He loves them so much that every day, he looks forward to sitting by the window and watching the passing trains go by. His love for trains is so contagious that even his younger sister Courtney joins the fun. Matthew is fascinated by the mechanical workings and the different parts of the train. Courtney enjoys imagining what’s inside of the various freight cars!

The Gingerbread Train - Interior 2

One day during the Christmas season, Matthew and Courtney take a break from their daily habit of train-watching to bake cookies with their mom. Courtney can’t wait to bake gingerbread men but Matthew has a better idea – let’s bake a gingerbread train!

Matthew becomes very disheartened when he learns that his mother doesn’t know how to make one but he can’t get the thoughts of that gingerbread train out of his head. Before long, whenever he smells the delicious aroma of gingerbread wafting through their home, he begins to receive visits from the most magnificent train ever created – the Gingerbread Train!

The Gingerbread Train - Interior 1

Matthew has no doubt that the Gingerbread Train is real, but strangely enough, no one else in his family can see it. How will Matthew prove to his family that the Gingerbread Train is real?

The Gingerbread Train: Santa’s Secret Gift is a delightfully imaginative story that’s sure to become a part of your family’s annual holiday tradition! This book is the perfect gift for pre-school children and kids through 5th grade as well as anyone who loves trains, children’s books, and the magic of Christmas!

You can purchase this book on its own – but I highly recommend surprising your kids with The Gingerbread Train Baking Gift Set, which includes the 48-page hardcover book with beautiful illustrations by Rebecca Solov, as well as a BRAVO Gingerbread Cookie Recipe by Ann Tarpley Francesco (who was once a personal chef), a custom, made-in-the-USA metal train engine cookie cutter that will inspire your child to create his/her own Gingerbread Train, and a festive red or green organza draw-string bag for gift presentation!

Gift Set - Recipe & Gingerbread Train

The Gingerbread Train is Ann’s first book and is the perfect companion to her latest book, Do You Like Trains?, which is available on January 1, 2020. Stay tuned for our upcoming book review and our gift set giveaway for Ann’s latest book as well!

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Book Trailer: The Gingerbread Train: Santa’s Secret Gift


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The Gingerbread Train Baking Gift Set Giveaway

Can you imagine the joy on your child’s face as you read The Gingerbread Train and bake gingerbread train cookies together?

Well, great news – we’d like to make this a reality! In the spirit of Christmas, author Ann Tarpley Francesco would like to give one lucky Create With Joy reader The Gingerbread Train Baking Gift Set this holiday season!

To enter the giveaway, please subscribe to Create With Joy via e-mail (it’s free!), follow us on one or more of our social channels (it’s what allows us to bring you amazing giveaways like these!), leave a comment, and submit your entries as instructed through the Rafflecopter form. This giveaway is open to Create With Joy readers, 18 years and older, who reside in the US now through Friday, January 3, 2020.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be contacted via e-mail and have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. The sponsor is solely responsible for prize fulfillment. The winner releases Create With Joy from all liability associated with this product/contest. All decisions by Create With Joy are final. The complete Terms and Conditions are listed on the Rafflecopter form. By submitting an entry, you are indicating that you have read and agree to these Official Rules.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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23 Responses to “The Gingerbread Train: Santa’s Secret Gift – Book Review & Gift Set Giveaway”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. I think this would be a great project to make during the holidays, different than a gingerbread house.

  2. Brian Frum says:

    That gingerbread train is adorable!

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      Isn’t that gingerbread train adorable Brian?
      This gift set is the only place I’ve ever seen a train cookie cutter (and it’s nice and large for decorating!)

  3. Audrey Stewart says:

    We do a gingerbread house every year. A train would be fun to do.

  4. Ken Ohl says:

    Think my little niece would loved this

  5. What a magical idea to make a gingerbread train! Sounds like a sweet story.

  6. Julie Waldron says:

    I think the book looks adorable! I’d love to add it to our Christmas book collection.

  7. Jeanna says:

    Sounds like a great choice, especially for this time of year. I made cake train once, it may or may not have involved gingerbread.

  8. Gingerbread train is a great idea! Merry Christmas!

  9. NANCY says:

    Such a unique & fun book. Thanks for the chance.

  10. Jeremy McLaughlin says:

    This looks fun to do.

  11. That train is cute. My crafting-ability level, which is -56, simply doesn’t allow for such things to go well. My baking-ability level is slightly lower, coming in at a -82. My train would be a plain “gingerbread cookie” in a faintly train-like shape…yes, I would somehow screw it up.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  12. Kayla Klontz says:

    We do different kinds of Gingerbread houses each year, this would be great!

  13. Kristy Wolfgang says:

    The book excited me the most. I think my nephew would really like it. He loves trains. Thanks

  14. Corey Olomon says:

    The gingerbread baking kit looks so good!

  15. Cassandra D says:

    The baking of the gingerbread train excites me the most.


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  3. […] traditions, baking and decorating cookies and/or trains? If so, don’t miss your chance to enter The Christmas Train: Santa’s Secret Gift (Gift Set) Giveaway […]

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