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Sweet reward for a job well done

  • Wesley Lamar, 3, shows his handiwork to his grandmother Laraine Downer while decorating a gingerbread doghouse at the Charles Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, Calif., on December 14, 2013. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

Five-year-old Jonah Wurtzel created the Fort Knox of gingerbread dog-houses Saturday, largely because high levels of security required gobs of frosting and piles of sugary candy bits.

He also developed a narrative as he constructed his fortress at a Snoopy's gingerbread doghouse-making class at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa.

"If a bad guy comes, he'll trip on this and go 'Ahh,' into the snow and get stuck," Jonah said, his vest speckled with frosting. "A dad will come with his cane and whack the robber."

Gingerbread Doghouses

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Wurtzel and his grandmother, Helen O'Donnell, were among the approximately 30 children and parents who attended the morning class. About 20 older students attended an additional class in the afternoon.

The annual event that draws pre-kindergartners through sixth-graders has proved popular since it was launched approximately eight years ago, said Jessica Ruskin, the museum's education director.

"I like that it can be a tradition for some people or just a one-time experience," she said.

A sugary, sticky, sweet, one-time experience.

"It's a theme of absolute messiness," she said.

And that was the draw for many parents, who watched their children glob goo, attach candy and dust "snowy" front yards with ground cinnamon without having to worry about the cleanup.

"It's hurricane resistant with all of that 'glue,'" dad Ken Finley said of his 4-year-old daughter Presley's creation. "She's got it dialed in — it's all about the structure, then you pretty it up. It's no good if it falls down."


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