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Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox: The Great Pancake Adventureby Matthew Luckhurst
Synopses & Reviews
In this humorous twist on a classic tale, Paul Bunyan and his best friend, Babe the Blue Ox, leave life on the farm to work for a logger who pays them with their favorite thing: pancakes! Paul and Babe tromp across the country with the logger, filling valleys with pancake batter (forming the Rocky Mountains) and chasing down pancakes blown away by the wind (creating the Grand Canyon). But when Babe starts to feel sick from eating too many pancakes, the two realize that maybe the farm, with its variety of foods, is really the best place for them after all.
The engaging typography and illustrations, combined with the humorous and lighthearted tone, show kids the importance of eating their veggies without giving heavy-handed lessons. An authors note explains the origins of the Paul Bunyan story.
Praise for Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox: The Great Pancake Adventure
"Cheerful gouache illustrations, which appear to be partly influenced by 1920s animated cartoons and contemporary street art, bounce with energy, driving the story forward as their adventures unfold...The inclusion of colorful, hand-lettered text adds emphasis and acts as a balance to the art."
"Newcomer Luckhursts manic gouache artwork and hand-lettered typography grab attention in this pancake-themed twist on the Paul Bunyan legend...The sheer voltage of Luckhursts artwork—Robert Neubecker by way of Robert Crumb—makes this a notable debut, one whose boisterous display type lends itself to noisy readalouds."
"Luckhursts gouache-on-paper artwork is bright and bold, and the text works well as a storytime read-aloud. As one would expect, the author takes the exaggerated and hyperbolic aspects of this tale and uses them to great effect."
—School Library Journal
"The cartoonlike, folksy gouache-and-paper illustrations are fitting for the larger-than-life story, and the hand-lettered typeface adds extra oomph."
RECOMMENDED - Parents' Choice Award Winner, Picture Books
New York Public Librarys Children's Books 2012: 100 Books for Reading and Sharing list
The Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids and Teens - Spring 2013
"Newcomer Luckhurst's manic gouache artwork and hand-lettered typography grab attention in this pancake-themed twist on the Paul Bunyan legend. Luckhurst leaves it to parents to explain what a lumberjack is and instead focuses on Paul and Babe's steady diet of pancakes, despite Paul's mother's attempts to feed them healthier food ('I just cannot keep feeding you and Babe all these pancakes,' she complains, wielding a spatula and whisk, surrounded by stacks of flapjacks. 'I have fields to tend'). Paul and Babe leave home to seek their (pancake) fortune; in one episode, Babe chases a tasty pancake and Paul tries to hold him back: 'When Babe finally caught the pancake, he and Paul had dug up a huge swath of dirt that is now called the Grand Canyon.' After milking the pancake jokes for as long as he can, Luckhurst capitulates to the vegetable lobby and sends Paul and Babe home to eat broccoli. The sheer voltage of Luckhurst's artwork — Robert Neubecker by way of Robert Crumb — makes this a notable debut, one whose boisterous display type lends itself to noisy readalouds. Ages 4 — 8." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Matt Luckhurst, a descendant of Canadian loggers, is originally from Nanaimo, British Columbia. He is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts MFA design program. This is his first picture book. He lives in Brooklyn.
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