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Pancakes to Parathas: Breakfast Around the World

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Pancakes to Parathas: Breakfast Around the World Book Poster Image
Lively, info-packed tour of breakfast in 12 countries.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows what kids eat for breakfast in 12 different countries. Each spread includes a map of the country and highlights the local food, fruits, and vegetables as well as showing how the kids and grown-ups dress, where they eat breakfast (for example, at a table or on a rug on the floor), and the country's typical buildings and famous landmarks. 

Positive Messages

Implies that what people eat for breakfast can be influenced by climate, culture, and what grows in a given country. "From pancakes to paranthas,/ from Vegemite to toast,/ wake up, world, it's time to eat/ the meal we love the most!"

 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Pictures diverse happy families eating together. 

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pancakes to Parathas: Breakfast Around the World, by Alice B. McGinty and illustrated by Tomoko Suzuki, shows happy families in 12 countries eating breakfast together. Each colorful spread offers a small rhyming verse on the lefthand page about the things the might eat on a given day. Then on the righthand page there's a paragraph that gives a more extensive explanation of one ore more of those options, like Ci fan tuan (a ball of sticky rice with pork and vegetables inside) in China or Vegemite (a salty paste for toast) in Australia. It's a fun world tour that gets kids thinking about the fact that while people in foreign countries may eat, live, look, or dress differently that they do, everybody, just like them, eats breakfast!

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What's the story?

PANCAKES TO PARATHAS: BREAKFAST AROUND THE WORLD shows what kids eat for breakfast in 12 countries -- Australia, Japan, China, India, Israel, Nigeria, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Jamaica, Mexico, and the United States. Each spread is about one country and notes the general options in a brief rhyming verse and also does a deeper dive into one or more of the offerings, like rashers and bangers (bacon slices and sausages) in the U.K. and prathas (fried, round flatbread) in India.

Is it any good?

This breakfast-table tour of 12 countries is a charming, colorful exploration of how people around the world live and eat, subtly showing how they're like you and different from you. Even though they may eat things you'd never eat for breakfast, or might eat their meal sitting on the floor and with their hands or chopsticks instead of a knife and folk, they wake up and eat breakfast with their family just like you do. 

There's lots to look at and talk about on each spread in Pancakes to Parathas: Breakfast Around the World -- not only food dishes, fruits, and vegetables but also maps of the countries and typical buildings and famous landmarks -- making this book great for read-aloud or independent reading.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about all the foods described in Pancakes to Parathas: Breakfast Around the World. Which ones had you heard of before? Which ones have you eaten? Which ones would you like to try?

  • Which country look most interesting to you? Which ones would you like to visit? 

  • What do you eat for breakfast? Would you like to mix in some foods from foreign countries sometimes? What would you add to the regular stuff you eat? 

Book details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love picture books and stories of various cultures

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