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*Marsupial Sue Presents 'The Runaway Pancake'* by John Lithgow, illustrated by Jack E. Davis

Also illustrated by Jack E. Davis:

We're All in the Same Boat

Also by John Lithgow:

I Got Two Dogs (Book and CD)
Marsupial Sue Presents 'The Runaway Pancake'
by John Lithgow, illustrated by Jack E. Davis
ages 4-8 40 pages Simon & Schuster Children's August 2005 Hardcover    

Author of the original Marsupial Sue, Lithgow offers another fantasy to tickle the funny bone and challenge the imagination. With a riff off “Old MacDonald,” Lithgow’s story involves The Runaway Pancake, with two eyes, a nose, a mouth and a nice set of teeth. Escaping first from Auntie May’s oven, the pancake rolls out the front door and down the road, Auntie May in furious pursuit, shouting, “Come back! You’re my lunch!” The Runaway Pancake answers with a little song:
“No, no.
No, no, no.
I’m too fast, you’re too slow.
Pan, pan, patty-cake pan,
I can get away from you, I can!”
Spinning along the lane, Pancake maintains his lead, determined to outrun them all, adding new characters along the way: Old Dog Tray, the Cow, the Donkey, an old gray Wolf, the Bear and the Fox, each new animal adding another line to the pancake’s rhyme. Clever as he is, and he is very, very clever, Pancake cannot outwit the Fox, who asks The Runaway Pancake to please move closer and speak louder so the Fox can hear better.

The frustrated pancake moves closer still until he is gobbled up by the crafty Fox. Catching up to the satisfied victor, the rest of the animals are so upset over losing their lunch that they chase the Fox out of the forest, and he is never to be seen again. Since the wily Fox swallowed the pancake whole, no matter where he goes, anyone can hear the faint sound of Pancake singing his rhyme, with two new lines added: “But that sly old Fox/ was the end of me.”

The lively illustrations are perfect for this mad chase, Pancake leading an ever-expanding array of animals who wish to eat him, and the sly old Fox, whose teeth appear larger and more menacing as the pancake edges closer. Bright and imaginative, this is a great tool for teaching with the repetition of phrases, the story moved briskly along by the madcap chase. This edition also features a CD of the story performed dramatically by the actor. A great gift for young readers, words and images mirror the playful antics of The Runaway Pancake.

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  Luan Gaines/2005 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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