About the Holiday
French toast is special breakfast treat that has been enjoyed at least as far back as the 4th century, and according to an ancient Latin recipe has always been made in the same way. While the recipe—bread dipped in egg and fried, then topped with syrup, fruit, or (my particular favorite) cinnamon sugar—may have stayed the same, this delicious concoction has gone by many names. Whether you call it French toast, eggy bread, poor knight’s pudding, German toast, Bombay toast, or pain perdu, though, you know what to do on today’s holiday!
Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast
Written by Josh Funk | Illustrated by Brendan Kearney
You know those strange noises you sometimes hear coming from your refrigerator? And how you could have sworn the leftovers were on the top shelf? Well, Josh Funk’s Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast may solve those mysteries and more in this rambunctious tale about what happens when relationships grow frosty.
One day Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast are hanging out at the back of the fridge when they learn the syrup is almost gone. Lady Pancake claims it as her own, but Sir French Toast replies, “Not if I get there first!” And so off they race! “Through Broccoli Forest, past Orange Juice Fountain, they climbed to the top of Potato Mash Mountain.” But the race takes a turn as the two meet obstacles that are no fun at all: at the edge of a shelf “Toast couldn’t quite stop, plummeting down into jam with a plop.” And “Chili Lagoon slathered Pancake in muck and then at a fork in the road she got stuck.”
The one-time friends call each other names and taunt each other with boasts of being the best breakfast food. As their competition upends the peace of the whole refrigerator from shelf to shelf, Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast find their energy wilting, and by the time they reach that sweet sought-after prize, they are “battered and soggy, exhausted and crumbling, too tired to push, they were limping and stumbling.”
With the bottle in sight, they are shocked to discover that the last drop of syrup is already gone. Who could have done this dastardly deed? None other than the sneaky Baron Von Waffle! With nothing to gain, Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast no longer have a reason to fight. In fact they realize that they lost out on the syrup because they were fighting. When they see that there is a little butter left, they decide to use the lesson they learned and share it.
There are so many fantastic rhymes in this book that kids will want to hear again and again. One of my favorites comes as Sir French Toast catches up to Lady Pancake: “He scraped himself off and yelled up, / ‘You’re a meanie!’ / as Pancake rappelled / down a rope of linguini.” With such laugh-inducing verses, kids may never look at food the same way again. Josh Funk has created a tale about friendship that is both boisterous and unique and sure to quickly become a favorite.
The refrigerator world as envisioned by Brendan Kearney is as colorful as the food rainbow and as active as a playground in summer. It’s also stacked with the cutest array of legumes, yogurt, cake, juices, fruit, and veggies you’ll find anywhere. The final fold-down page of the entire refrigerator is a delight that kids of all ages will want to linger over even after the story of The Great Race between Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast is over.
Ages 5 and up
Sterling Children’s Books, 2015 | ISBN 978-1454914044
Visit Josh Funk’s Website to download a free Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast Activity Kit and to learn about more upcoming titles!
Discover more art and books by Brendan Kearney on his website!
Watch the trailer for this amazing race – you’ll be singing the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast theme song in no time!
Love Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast? You butter get ready for more fun with their next adventure: The Case of the Stinky Stench, coming in May 2017!
National French Toast Day Activity
Sweet as Syrup Figure
Fun shouldn’t be kept bottled up! Well…maybe just this once. Make your own figure to display or play with from a syrup bottle with this craft. It’s sure to be as sweet as you are!
- Small plastic syrup bottle with a narrow squeeze fliptop and without a handle, empty
- 1 ½-inch wooden ball with ½-inch hole in bottom
- 16-inch to 18-inch square piece of cloth
- Ribbon or strip of material
- 12 to 14-inch long medium-gauge craft wire
- Gel pens, black, blue, brown, red (Gel pens work well on the wood as the ink doesn’t bleed into the wood and are easy to control)
- Poly fill or needle-felting wool
- Strong glue
To prepare the bottle
- Remove labels from syrup bottle
- Cut the flip top in half, keeping the narrow nozzle part
To make the head
- Holding the wooden ball with the hole at the bottom, draw a face on the wooden ball with the gel pens
- Glue a small handful of poly fill or needle-felting wool to the top of the wooden ball for hair. You can make the hair has long, short, or poofy as you wish.
To make the dress
- Cut a 16-inch diameter circle from the material
To assemble the figure
- To make the arms, wrap the wire around the neck of the syrup bottle, crossing it in the back and pulling tight
- Center the material over the opening of the syrup bottle
- Cut tiny slits in the material at the location of the wire on each side of the bottle, and pull the arms through the material
- Bend the ends of the wire into a small loop to form hands
- Screw the cap with the narrow nozzle over the material
- Tie the ribbon or strip of material around the narrow part of the bottle to make the figure’s waist
- Place the hole in the wooden ball over the nozzle in the cap and glue into place
Make up your own story with your new figure!
Picture Book Review