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Five Flippin' Great Books about Pancakes!

With Shrove Tuesday (25th Feb 2020) just around the corner, BooksForTopics founder Alison has picked out five great children's books all about pancakes!

Mr Wolf's Pancakes

Jan Fearnley

Mr Wolf wants to make pancakes but he is going to need some help. Underconfident in his ability to read the recipe, shop for ingredients, understand measures and mix up the batter, Mr Wolf calls on a host of familiar fairy tale friends for help.  When his friends refuse to help, Mr Wolf is left to figure it out all by himself. But will they change their tune when it comes to eating time? Young readers love spotting familiar faces in this humorous pancake-day take on the Little Red Hen story with its own subversive twist at the end. 

The Runaway Pancake

Mairi MacKinnon & Silvia Provantini

There seems to be a universal appeal to children's stories about food with a mind of its own and this one's a version of a story I fondly remember capturing my own imagination as a child. In a Gingerbread Man style escapade, one pancake escapes from a hungry family's breakfast time and begins a runaway adventure that draws in a host of animals along the way. This illustrated version has simple text designed for younger readers.

Pancakes! Cook in a Book

Lotta Nieminen

A boldly-illustrated interactive book that brings the fun into reading a sequence of instructions for making pancakes. The book's interactive elements invite the reader to become involved with every step of the recipe; lift the flap to open ingredients, turn the wheel to mix the batter, pull the tab to ladle the batter into the pan and - of course - flip the pancake to cook the other side! A great book for classrooms - second only to frying up the real thing. 

Mama Panya's Pancakes

Mary Chamberlin, Richard Chamberlin & Julia Cairns

Pancakes are eaten all around the world, with different variations, traditions and names in different countries. This story is set in Kenya and features the spiced pancakes shared at an unplanned community meal (there’s a recipe in the back of the book, too).  When Adika hears that Mama is making pancakes, he is so happy that he invites everyone he sees to his house to eat them. He reassures Mama that they will have enough flour, but Mama is worried. A heartening story about the power of community, with plenty of added information about daily life in one Kenyan village.

Pancakes, Pancakes!

Eric Carle

Among his more well-known stories about hungry caterpillars and mixed-up chameleons, Eric Carle also wrote about pancakes! This story follows an American boy called Jack who goes through the process of making his own pancakes, including milking the cow and cutting the wheat. A useful story for tracing where the different ingredients come from.

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With Safer Internet Day (11th Feb 2020) just around the corner, we've picked out five children's book that are great for exploring the concept of esafety with primary school pupils.  Troll Stinks! Jeanne Willis & Tony Ross This is a great choice of book for exploring the topic of e-safety and cyberbullying with young children. Billy the Goat and his friend Cyril are playing with a phone when they decide to send mean messages to the troll living under the bridge. Soon the two friends discover that their online actions have had a big impact on troll's feelings and that their messages were not such a fun idea after all. For more on online safety, you may also like Chicken Clicking (available here) and #Goldilocks (available here) by the same authors.  Also features on: Anti-Bullying Booklist  Buy on Amazon Learn the Language of Social Media William Anthony A stylishly designed colourful glossary of words relating to social media. Organized alphabetically, the book explains a range of terms from bitmojis and boomerangs to memes and moderators, all in an informative and accessible way. Whether you are a netiquette nerd or you don't know your YOLO from your YouTube, this a great guide to have to hand as you equip pupils in KS2 to cope with the fast-changing world of social media.  Also features on: Computing, Coding & Gaming Booklist   Buy on Amazon Penguinpig Stuart Spendlow & Amy Bradley Written by teacher, PenguinPig is designed to teach the concept of safety to young children and is a great choice of book for EYFS and KS1. The story features a little girl who becomes intrigued by a PenguinPig that she encounters online. When she takes the decision to go out and meet the Penguinpig for herself, she learns how things are not always as they seem on the internet and that from now on she must think before she clicks. You may also like MonkeyCow (available here), produced by the same team, which focuses on keeping passwords safe. Buy on Amazon Ant Clancy: Games Detective Ruth Morgan Designed to appeal to children with a love of gaming, Ant Clancy: Games Detective is a fast-paced adventure story that could be enjoyed by any reader who likes an action-packed mystery story. Ant is the only person in Westford Abbey who can’t get into playing Ray-Chay, the new virtual reality game that everyone else is obsessed with. Soon something goes very wrong with the game, which somehow spills over into real life, and Ant is the person who will get to the bottom of what’s happening and try to put things right. As the story unfolds, the line between the gaming world and reality is blurred even further in the race to uncover the truth. This is a good springboard into discussions around staying safe in the realms of online gaming.  Also features on: Reading for Pleasure Blog Buy on Amazon Staying Safe Online Louie Stowell Covering important e-safety topics including cyberbullying and social media messaging, this is an essential book to help older children to know how to protect themselves in the digital world. Find out how online interactions can affect friendships, why cyberbullying is so dangerous and how image-sharing can get out of control. Due to the nature of the topics covered, this is most suitable for upper KS2+ or as a book to dip in and out of at your discretion.  Also features on: Anti-Bullying Booklist

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