Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Today's read... The Pancake Problem by Maureen Fergus


Weenie featuring Frank & Bean, #2
by Maureen Fergus
Illustrated by Alexandra Bye
Tundra Books
Chapter Book Humor / Graphic Novel
48 pages
ages 6 to 9

Fans of Narwhal and Jelly will love this laugh-out-loud graphic a pancake adventure with Weenie, Frank and Beans featuring wiener dog smooches, a huge pile of stinky brussels sprouts and a whole lot of syrup.

Weenie loves his human, Bob. He loves his guinea pig friend Beans and his cat friend Frank. He loves naps, adventures and sharing. In fact, Weenie loves pretty much everything (except brussels sprouts).

And Weenie SUPER LOVES pancakes. Maybe too much. When the SuperSonic Pancake Maker malfunctions, Weenie knows exactly what to do! Sort of . . .



Pancakes and brussels sprouts hit inventing adventure with a furry three-some to adore.

Weenie wakes up one morning and is very hungry, and he's more than happy to share this with his best friends, Frank and Beans. There's only one way to solve the problem—wake up their owner and have him make pancakes. But this doesn't work out quite as hoped, leaving Weenie to figure out how to make pancakes on his own. Weenie might be more intelligent than he appears, but he still ends up in an unexpected predicament, which might end up in a huge disaster.

These three friends are such a fun group. With a dog, cat, and guinea pig, they create quite the mix, especially since each one carries a distinct personality...except for maybe Bean, who makes up for that with cuteness. Weenie's hyper character steers into ridiculousness with ease, while Frank juxtaposes perfectly with a more serious tone. If the banter between the two weren't enough, Weenie's full of great...or not so great...ideas and carries imaginative surprises to add extra zest. It's easy to get drawn into their adventure and feel the excitement, hesitation, and curiosity right along with them.

The illustrations are bright and bold with easy-to-read speech bubbles. Sometimes, the text is very light, while other moments offer more. It gives a nice back and forth to work on reading skills, offering pauses before frustration can mount. There's also a bit of vocabulary building to help those word skills. The images allow the personalities to shine and humor to sit. There are also comical diagrams sprinkled in to add extra smiles and giggles. 

It's a fun tale with ridiculous moments and a bit of adventure to keep the reader wondering if everything will work out. It fits the age group nicely, while advancing reading skills in a way, which won't scare away more reluctant readers. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens to this bunch next because it's sure to be a surprise.

And here they are...

MAUREEN FERGUS is an award-winning author of books for kids of all ages. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages, optioned for film and adapted for stage. Her illustrated books include InvisiBill; The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold; You’re In Good Paws; Petal the Angry Cow; and Weenie Featuring Frank and Beans: Mad About Meatloaf. When not writing, Maureen runs, reads, bikes, bakes, works and hangs out with her husband, three kids and Buddy the Wonder Dog.

ALEXANDRA BYE works as a freelance illustrator specializing in fun, colorful illustrations for a variety of media such as advertising, animation, licensing, editorial and children’s publications. Her work reflects the energy she is inspired by from friends, family and her flourishing New England community. In her free time she enjoys mountain biking, Nordic ski racing, trail running, paddle boarding, camping, Jiu Jitsu, yoga, reading, cooking and hiking in the White Mountains with her fiancĂ©, Alex, and their dog, Oliver.

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