Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie DePaola

Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie DePaola

Rating: 5 yummy stars

This is, by far, my favorite wordless picture book.  I love, love, love it.

It's a simple story: a woman wakes up thinking about pancakes.  She assembles the ingredients--the traditional way.  No grocery store run for her.  She milks the cow, churns the butter, gathers the eggs, collects syrup from the tree.  Just as she's ready to make the pancakes, she realizes her dog and cat, who are also hungry, ate all the ingredients!  She's bummed.  But then...sniff, sniff...she realizes her neighbors woke with the same idea.  So she trudges through the snow, invites herself in, and eats a bunch of their pancakes (hopefully not all of them!).

As always, Tomie DePaola's drawings are funny and sweet, straightforward and inviting.  Nothing fancy in this book, just simple drawings for a simple story.

I'm usually not a fan of books without words, and can empathize when I hear other parents complain of them.  At the end of the day, when you're counting down the seconds until the door is closed on your day as a parent, who wants to actually think of the words to a story?!  I hear ya.

BUT they are important...  Here are a few reasons why (feel free to add your own, and tell me which ones you like to read with your kids/students):

  • Kids imagine and create their own words and stories.
  • Kids can "read" them by themselves, giving you a bit of a break and them a boost of confidence on their own path to literacy.
  • As always, you can practice prediction and sequencing.
  • For budding artists, having a wordless, cartoon-like book can inspire them to write/draw a book of their own.

But don't forget the best part of all about this particular book: it inspires you to make pancakes!  Hear are my two favorite healthy recipes in case you're in need of a new taste:

From my favorite restaurant in Atlanta, the Flying Biscuit, click here to get their oatmeal pancakes.  They soak overnight in buttermilk...yum, yum.  Top with peaches like they do, and a little maple syrup.  Definitely half the recipe, unless you are feeding a small army or the Dugger family!

From Cooking Light, click here to get a recipe for whole wheat pancakes.  We add blueberries to ours and usually dip them in honey.  They freeze really well (freeze individually) and become my go-to dinner when I need to get dinner on the table in 5.4 minutes or less.

(Also, see those labels at the end of this post?  Click on "wordless books" to see my reviews of a bunch of other wordless books, including the great Polo series, which are great for traveling in the car...)


  1. Hey, this is a great book for us to consider. Given your effort to break it down for us to know what exactly the book is about is fully appreciated. I am sure it will benefit all of us


  2. Many of us really loves cooking pancakes. Like the plot of this story, making pancakes is not that fancy compared to other breakfast meals but still it provides us the right amount of energy that we needed in the morning.