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Hundreds and Hundreds of Pancakes: 02/04/22

Hundreds and Hundreds of Pancakes

Hundreds and Hundreds of Pancakes by Audrey Chalmers is an oddball gem of a picture book from 1942. Mother is busy making pancakes while the kids are setting the table. Father announces that there's a hurricane brewing. Instantly it's time to batten down the hatches. The pancakes will have to wait.

Once upon a time children's fiction could send houses elsewhere via an unexpected wind storm — be it cyclone (tornado) or here a hurricane. Houses would come off their foundations, spin around and end up someplace else, rather than being smashed to pieces.

In this case, the house ends up in a field outside of town. Surrounding their house are all the escaped zoo animals. Fortunately for everyone, the father is an assistant zookeeper!

This book uses a goofy line of logic to set up the situation (the hurricane), the problem (escaped, hungry animals), the solution (pancakes!), further problems (not enough flour), a new solution (a hungry giraffe and one last pancake). It sounds ridiculous but it works through it's sheer belief in its internal logic.

Hundreds and Hundreds of Pancakes also has a placement in the Road Narrative Spectrum. The travelers are a family (33). Their destination is a rural one (33). Their route there (and home) is an offroad one (66).

Four stars

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