Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Happy Pancake Tuesday everyone!

Hi everyone.  Today is a special day where you put your caloric count aside and dig into a big pile of delicious, fluffy pancakes, fresh off the griddle.  It's Pancake Tuesday and no pancakes are complete without melted butter, gooey syrup and perhaps fresh fruit AND whipping cream.  Go ahead, give yourself permission to indulge....yum....hurray for Shrove Tuesday!   

Can you unwrap the author of this poem?  Bet you can.


Authored by Tomie DePaola
Ages 4-7

This wordless picture books invites the "reader" to engage with his imagination and create a unique storyline.  Wordless books are perfect for non-readers or reluctant readers because the readers can free themselves from the stress of decoding the printed words, relax and calmly talk about the pictures that are presented before them.  

This little old woman starts out her day snuggled under her toasty warm covers accompanied by her rather chubby cat and her brown hound dog.  She envisions in her mind a huge stack of yummy pancakes and decides to make them a reality.  

The book documents the trials and challenges this poor lady has to endure to make those pancakes appear.  The book frames each step of her labour of love.  She first needs eggs. Well she has to leave her house on the farm, in the snow, and go gather the eggs from the chickens.  She then needs milk.  Where can she obtain milk? Not her fridge.  She must go and milk her cow, who luckily is not in her house but outside it and yes, she must leave to go fetch it.  Butter is next on the her list.  She can't just go and pluck it off a grocery shelf but she has to churn it.  Oh my!   Finally she obtains syrup to top it all off.  With brute determination, and a clear vision of that stack of pancakes before her, she tromps through the snow each time to make her dream come true.  The delightful twist of humour at the end of the book will have everyone smiling. The illustrations are cartoon-like, very witty and humorous, drawing the reader in enabling him to describe what is happening on each page.

This charming, adorable, simple book is a perfect one to share on Pancake Tuesday or any day that needs to be kick-started with a huge dose of pancakes to enjoy.

"Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1934 to a family of Irish and Italian background. By the time he could hold a pencil, he knew what his life's work would be. His determination to create books for children led to a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and an MFA from the California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland, California. 
It drove him through the years of teaching, designing greeting cards and stage sets, and painting church murals until 1965, when he illustrated his first children's book, Sound, by Lisa Miller for Coward-McCann. Eventually, freed of other obligations, he plunged full time into both writing and illustrating children's books. 
He names Fra Angelico and Giotto, Georges Rouault, and Ben Shahn as major influences on his work, but he soon found his own unique style. His particular way with color, line, detail, and design have earned him many of the most prestigious awards in his field, among them a Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona, the Smithsonian Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for his ""singular attainment in children's literature,"" the Catholic Library Association's Regina Medal for his ""continued distinguished contribution,"" and the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion. He was also the 1990 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration. 
Tomie dePaola has published almost 200 children's books in fifteen different countries. He remains one of the most popular creators of books for children, receiving more than 100,000 fan letters each year. 
Tomie lives in an interesting house in New Hampshire with his four dogs. His studio is in a large renovated 200-year-old barn. 
- He has been published for over 30 years.
- Over 5 million copies of his books have sold worldwide.
- His books have been published in over 15 different countries.
- He receives nearly 100,000 fan letters each year. 
Tomie dePaola has received virtually every significant recognition for his books in the children's book world, including: 
- Caldecott Honor Award from American Library Association
- Newbery Honor Award from American Library Association
- Smithson Medal from Smithsonian Institution
- USA nominee in illustration for Hans Christian Andersen Medal
- Regina Medal from Catholic Library Association

Unwrapping these honourable mentions...

Read on and read always!

It's a wrap.

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