Josh Funk and Brendan Kearney
As their third adventure begins Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast are concerned about the extreme frostiness of their fridge domain threatening their subjects.
Suddenly out of the shadows steps one, Agent Asparagus wielding his ID and asking for their help to track down the dastardly villain responsible for the deadly freeze.
However, just as they set out on their mission, Agent Asparagus is mysteriously kidnapped. This leaves Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast with no other option than to ask old arch enemy Baron von Waffle to come to their aid.
But who is double-crossing whom? For the next thing that happens is that Pancake and Toast find themselves captured and shackled in curly fry chains and brought face to face with the real culprit. Is this doom for the daring duo?
Thankfully not: the plot takes another turn for this is a tale of feeling isolated, forging friendships and forgiving.
Action packed, fast paced and rhyming with panache, Josh Funke’s twisting turning telling is splendid. Equally splendid are Brendan Kearney’s busy giggle- inducing scenes of the crazy cast whose expressions he portrays so well as they play out the high drama unfolding inside the fridge.
Despite its chilliness, this is a tale to melt your heart as we see that the desperate lengths characters go to are on account of feeling excluded or friendless.
Josh Funk and Ester Garay
Albie Newton is a thinker, a ‘child genius’ so we’re told, learning a new language almost every week and he also loves to tinker.
The lad starts school mid term and in the hope of making some friends, decides to build a special surprise gift for his new classmates.
It doesn’t take long for the newcomer to start rubbing the others up the wrong way. In addition to shining in all areas of the curriculum,
his behaviour is more than a little disruptive, particularly when he appropriates items from the classroom; and the noises he makes are nothing short of ear shattering.
Albie however, is completely oblivious to the effect of his actions; his social skills are clearly nothing like as developed as his intellectual and inventive ones.
Fortunately for Albie though, one of his classmates, Shirley by name, has been keeping an eye on his secret activities and seems willing to give him a chance. She thinks that perhaps Albie is well intentioned. Can she convince the others to give him the benefit of the doubt?
Perhaps, when they see that special gift he’s constructed …
It will be pretty obvious to adults, especially teacher readers of Funk’s seemingly light-hearted rhyming story, that Albie is wired differently from the other children.
With in-built messages about accepting difference and building empathy emerging, it offers plenty to discuss; and illustrator, Ester Garay ‘s bold bright illustrations have plenty of details to amuse, as well as effectively conveying Albie’s abundance of mental and physical energy.