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PANCAKE DREAMS by Ingmarie Ahvander


by Ingmarie Ahvander & illustrated by Mati Lepp & translated by Elizabeth Kallick Dyssegaard

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 2002
ISBN: 91-29-65652-4
Publisher: R&S/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

A little boy longs for the flavors of home—and finds his wish fulfilled—in Ahvander’s debut effort. “[Grandma] always had something good to eat when Stefan and his brother came to visit: meatballs or homemade strawberry jam or Swedish pancakes,” Ahvander writes. “Stefan liked them all—most of all the pancakes.” But when Stefan moves to the Middle East, he misses his grandmother and her special treats. Lepp’s delicately drawn watercolor and pen-and-ink vignettes picture the a-ha moment as Stefan surmises a way to import pancakes using an oversized bakery box. Eschewing the postal system, Grandma and Stefan opt for the airways. First, Stefan sends his aunt back to Sweden with the box. Then a convoluted scheme finds Grandma placing an ad in the paper, meeting a stranger in the airport, and handing over the sealed box so that the man can carry it on the plane. Not the most realistic scenario, considering airport security protocol. Nevertheless, Ahvander’s sentimental tale will ring true for any child who has ever been far from the familiar. Similarly, the bond between the child and his grandmother has intergenerational appeal. Teachers and librarians wishing to familiarize children with the Middle East will find this a useful starting place. The winner of the publisher’s first manuscript competition, the work was originally published in Sweden last year. (Picture book. 4-8)