Customer Reviews: Pancakes for Breakfast
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on January 12, 2006
How do you read a book with no words? The same way you did before you learned how to read - you look at the pictures...

What do you see?

The sun comes up over the hills on a still winter's morning. It seems we're in New England. The book's protagonist, something of a Yankee babushka, is nestling under her very warm covers. Her pets, a fat feline and a common looking brown hound, are just beginning to stir...

The morning ripens with potential as the thought of a tall stack of fluffy pancakes enters the mind of our lady of the house. So begins a quest, and several unexpected obstacles will have to be surmounted before desire ultimately is fulfilled.

My eldest daughter, now in college, remembers this book as one of her favorites. I asked her what stands out after all these years. It's the golden blob of butter, centered on the top of each tall stack.

For this, a recommendation of four stars certainly seems in order.
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on September 10, 2002
I "read" this wordless picture book to a class of 2nd graders and they loved predicting what would happen next in the story. Tomie dePaola has frame by frame pictures of the pancake making process. Some students didn't get what she was doing at first, but as the storyline progressed, they understood. The kids were so excited to get to the end of the story, they were surprised that they hadn't guessed the ending.
This is also a great story to give children/students who have speech problems or problems staying focused on a storyline. It gets them thinking and "Pancakes for Breakfast" is made into 'their own little story'.
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on June 8, 2010
You wake up. BOY, are you ever hungry! You know what hits the spot on a cold, cold day in winter?

Pancakes. Pancakes for breakfast. Mmm.

But... you know, to make pancakes you need eggs. Better leave your warm house to gather them from the chickens! And you get back - hey, you need milk too! Better leave your warm house to milk the cow! And you get back, and you know, butter is necessary. So what if it takes 20 minutes to churn? You already started on this path, can't go back now! You're all ready to make those... nah, better leave your warm house AGAIN and get the syrup.

Can't you just see those pancakes on the stove? And our intrepid heroine, the little old lady, tromps back home through the snow, only to find... the cat and dog ate all the batter. Wha...?

There is a ridiculously amusing twist ending that I promise you have not anticipated :)

This is a NEARLY wordless picture books. You might need a grown-up who can read to tell you the motto at the end, which is just the cherry on this zany stack of pancakes ;)

Some people object to wordless picture books on principle, because they are unfamiliar with them. This is what I have to say to that:

Wordless picture books are PERFECT for pre-readers. It gives them the ability to read a book - REALLY own the experience instead of just "playing" as they must do when they can't understand the words - on their own. It gives them practice in putting together stories and working out details from context. And it allows them to be the expert at some activity that is usually restricted to adults and older children in their life - reading a book.

By that same token, they are also ideal for early readers. It's non-threatening, and yet it's still a way to practice following a storyline. Reading is more than just mechanically putting together sounds and reciting them, after all. Many people are impressed by a five year old who can say, word-perfect, some complex piece he or she "reads" from a page, but later they find out that the child has no idea what they just read and wasn't thinking of reading as an exercise in gleaning meaning from text, but merely as reciting memorized sounds and letter combinations. Working out the story for themselves from a book with no words is a wonderful way to practice this sort of "reading for meaning".

But what of the child who stumbles in reading? Well, the child who stumbles when reading but can tell you WHAT they read is light-years ahead of the one who sounds pretty but doesn't grasp the meaning. At any rate, this child is still getting much needed practice in the conventions of reading without the letters to stress and trip them up.

Of course, you don't want the only book in your house to be a wordless picture book, I understand that, because children do need print to practice reading, but a few are a WONDERFUL thing for a child. And who has just one book, anyway?
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on September 19, 2000
This is a wonderful book. My grandaughter received it when she was under a year old, and we looked at the pictures and talked about them. Slowly, she began to put together the story line, and recognize what came next, and why, and now at age two she can almost tell the story herself. Wish there were more "books without text" that both adult and child could enjoy together. The author's illustrations do a wonderful job of creating a story that truly grows with the child.
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VINE VOICEon August 20, 2002
Wordless books are neat. You can make up the story, change it, talk about the pictures, and so on.
This book is no different.
The end has a little twist of humor that most kids age two and up can get and many younger kids will see the humor in the situation as well. The pictures are adorable and simple and tell a story.
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on January 3, 2000
My daughter and I started taking this book out of the library when she was two, and checked it out so many times that we decided to buy it. The story can be told slightly different each time you read it since there are no words. As the main character attempts to make breakfast her dog and cat decide to help themselves to breakfast as well. My daughter loves pancakes, and this book might have something to do with it!
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on May 12, 2016
This book has no words in it, but it is useful in teaching students to pay attention to the illustrations in a book as part of their reading. In second grade, using information from illustrations or pictures as well as the text is part of our standards (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.7 Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.). Since this book has no words, it forces the reader to "read" the pictures to understand the story. The other text I use for this is "Unspoken: A Story From the Underground Railroad" by Henry Cole.
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on August 22, 2015
I'm giving this book 3 stars because I blame myself for not reading the reviews well enough or looking inside the book. I bought this book for my six year old, however I was shocked when I got the book and it lacked words. I am new to the concept of picture books for children older than 2 years old so I did not expect to find a picture book for older kids. I'm sure some people find this entertaining or educational but I'm a little old school and I like my books with words.
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on March 20, 2016
I am a speech pathologist who specializes in pediatric therapy. I love using wordless books to help children learn to express themselves. I use them to take language samples as well as in therapy. This is a very cute book. It can be used to teach sequences - first, second, next, then. I really like it.
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on January 27, 2006
Of course with a wordless book a story can take many directions. This story is a simple tale about an old woman with single-minded determination for...pancakes. Her trials and tribulations about getting pancake ingredients on her farm and ultimate failure at the hands of her dog and cat ends with her "following her nose" to the neighbor's house where the pancakes are just coming off the griddle.

Good to read to 18 months and older. Of course, its the skill of the reader that makes this fun. If one doesn't approach it with creativity and flair, it'll be flatter...than a pancake.
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