When I decided to write “Katie Shaeffer, Pancake Maker” I felt I could not find the just right book about pancakes to read to my preschool class. I was in search of a pancake book because I love to read a story and then extend the story somehow and making pancakes is a favourite activity for me to do with my preschool classes. Cooking is a great way to demonstrate science in a practical way as the ingredients are combined and then heated. Children can participate in an activity that is often done at home by only adults and the opportunities to smell and taste the pancakes are a bonus.
I love the wordless book by Tomie de Paola, “Pancakes for Breakfast” but I was looking for a different type of book. I’ve also enjoyed reading “Curious George Makes Pancakes” but at times, the book feels dated and some of the illustrations are a little small for the entire class to see. And I’ve been reading these books for so many years. In my mind it was time to write something original.
Interestingly, since learning more about writing for children, I have done some research on pancake books and found that ….surprise… there are quite a few other picture books out there!
When you look it up on amazon, there are 392 “pancake books” and yet only 13 “books about pancakes”. Of course, there is “If You Give a Pig a Pancake” by Laura Numeroff and Felicia bond, and “Pancakes: An Interactive Recipe Book” by Lotta Nieminen and Megan Bennet. The list goes on…
So what makes my book special? I think it is special because it is written by an early childhood educator who has worked with young children for many years and wanted to create a book that will lend itself to the type of story extensions that are really valuable for young children. I think it is special because it has a memorable repetitive rhyme that helps children participate in the story. And that’s what we want. We want them to chime in and experience the story as fully as possible. I think it is also special because I can now say to my preschool class, my group of parents, my umbrella organization that oversees our preschools, my children’s former elementary schools and my former workplaces and co-workers: here’s a book you can read to your children that is written by someone local, with a connection to you. (For those who don’t know, I’m from Vancouver Island!)
There are reasons children will identify with Katie too. Most children find waiting to be difficult. So does Katie. She loves pancakes and she wants to make them by herself now! The last thing she wants to do is wait until she’s older. And Katie loves building things but her creations don’t always work out as she has planned.
Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker will be published soon! Keep visiting my author page for the upcoming release date!