THE GREAT PANCAKE ESCAPE by Paul Many

THE GREAT PANCAKE ESCAPE

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

“Our dad is a magician, / who can make a bird go poof, / but the day he cooked us pancakes, / he made an awful goof.” In his first picture book, Many (My Life, Take Two, 2000, etc.) cooks up a humorous rhyme about a magician who bungles breakfast. When he uses the wrong cookbook (it’s really a book of tricks), the pancakes take on a life of their own and the three children help chase the fugitive flapjacks as they roll right into town. Lush brushstrokes and shadowy images create drama as Goto’s (Shoeshine Whittaker, 1999, etc.) full-bleed illustrations chronicle the action. In the opening spread, one son yawns, the daughter smirks, and only the littlest child looks amused as the father juggles flour, milk, and sugar. “We’d seen this trick a thousand times,” they say. But when blue sparks envelope the mixing bowl and batter shoots into the flaming frying pan, they know something is different. Saucer-sized pancakes take over the town. They blend into the scenery, becoming the steering wheel on the bus, wheels on a taxicab, and medallions on a fancy hat. In one surreal scene, pancakes rain down as a man and woman in black suits, bowlers, blood red ties, and mirrored sunglasses march by holding giant pancake umbrellas. Back home, the children finally find the real cookbook. The father reverses the spell, turning the pancakes back to batter. “ ‘I’ll fry you up another stack,’ ” he says. “But we said, ‘No! Just watch!’ / Then we toasted frozen waffles / right from the soggy box.” A rhythmic, rip-roaring romp. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8027-8795-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Walker
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2002




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