Today I have a delightful picture book to tell you about, Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast by Josh Funk, illustrated by Brendan Kearney. This review has been months in the making! A little bit of background. I first saw the cover of this book on Twitter and was instantly intrigued by the title and artwork.
I contacted the author to request a copy and the publisher sent it out. This was many months ago. What happened next shows the value of this book :) My young son saw it and hugged it to his chest, before I could read it. I told him he could look at it, but that I had to get it back. So, what does he do, he loves the books, flips through all the pages, and then hides it from mommy so that it can be his! UGH. But, cleaning his room the other day I finally found it, so now the details...
Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast are leftovers living in the refrigerator. Word gets to them that there is only one drop of maple syrup left. Once friends, they now are competitors, each wanting that last drop. They both race through different paths inside the refrigerator, one encountering a bean avalanche and the other a jam pothole. They make it to the syrup only to find out that someone beat them to it! (I had a great giggle here) and return to their shelf, beat-up and sticky, but once again friends.
When reviewing a picture book you have to take the author and illustrator's work together as a whole. This book is a great example. As I read the book to my son, he did not understand a lot of the words, things like tofu, brie, and rappelling. Luckily, the pictures made up for the foreign (to him) words and concepts. I was able to show him just what was being mentioned or done by using the fun pictures.
Pancake and French Toast have a delightful romp through many types of foods and problems. My son loved each page, picking out details, food he recognized and problems that were coming. At the end of the book is a fold out of the entire refrigerator and he excitedly showed me each route that was taken by both foods to reach the syrup.
The plot captured his attention and he continually asked me who would win. I told him I didn't know because both foods looked so beat up I didn't think anyone would want to eat them with any amount of syrup, lol. He kept telling me that one of them HAD to win. So imagine both of our surprises when a new character wins the day! We both laughed, but it solved the problem of which friend would win without any resentments.
And really, that's what the book is about, friendship. As Pancake and French Toast realize how silly they were to race to the syrup, they realize sharing is an important part of any friendship, as a pad of butter unfortunately then finds out.
Loved it. I'm giving this one 4.5 stars.