Children's Toy & Media Reviews Since 1978

National Pancake Day!

Celebrate National Pancake Day with these three Parents’ Choice Award winning products!


Pancake Pile-Up!™ Relay Game

Ages: 4 & Up
Manufacturer: Educational Insights
Price: $17.99


The Pancake Pile-Up Relay Game is a relay game in which children use spatulas to carry pancakes, in a specific order, to a plate and top with a pat of “pretend” (plastic) butter. The game includes 10 pancakes (sized 2.5 inches in circumference) in five different flavors; blueberry, strawberry, banana, chocolate chip and plain, two pats of butter, two plates, two spatulas, 10 order cards, a griddle game board and a user guide. The pancakes are just the right size and weight for toddlers to manage and manipulate. The cards depicting how to stack up the pancakes are clear and the pictures were identical to the pieces included.

Another benefit is that the griddle game board is attached to the bottom of the box, making one less piece to lose. This thoroughly enjoyable game helps children develop sequencing abilities, visual synthesis of physically copying what they see, and gross motor skills. The Pancake Pile-Up Relay is great fun for two players or groups of toddlers playing in teams. The game even inspired us to have pancakes for dinner.



Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox: The Great Pancake Adventure

Ages: 4 – 8 yrs.
Author: Matt Luckhurst
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
Hardcover Price: $17.95


It’s true. Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox loved pancakes. Lots of pancakes.

Matt Luckhurst grew up on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada where his grandfather worked as a logger and then as a sawmill owner. Living near the river, the forest and the mill, and eating his Mom’s Sunday morning pancakes, Luckhurst was captivated by stories about the larger-than-life lumberjack called Paul Bunyan and his Blue Ox named Babe.

When as an adult author-illustrator Luckhurst decided to explore the story for a possible book, he devoured as many stories of Paul and Babe as he could find. Combining historical documents with oral histories, Luckhurst’s interpretation followed the trajectory of the tales of Paul Bunyan that became taller and more spectacular with every telling. As the author notes “It is in the tradition of exaggeration and hyperbole that I interpreted the tales of Paul and Babe.”

And it is in the tradition of playful page turning discovery that we applaud Luckhurst’s story. His colorful fun-loving gouache on paper illustrations are propelled by his crafting and sculpting of words. A delicious tall tale for readers and pancake lovers everywhere.



Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs

Ages: 4 – 7 yrs.
Producer: Sterling Publishing
CD Price: $14.95


Ten silly, fresh, and fun tracks, each with Lisa Loeb’s signature talent and perspective, fill this book with song and style. From the opening “Opposite Day,” to the closing “Found A Peanut,” every page beckons readers to sing and join the fun. Loeb and friends Michelle Lewis and Dan Petty created the collection of songs. The book includes the lyrics for each song, which are paired with recipes, games, and activities. “I’m a Little Coconut” shares page space with a recipe for Coconut Cream Pie. “Fried Ham” comes with a formula for singing its verses in different silly voices. “Chewing Gum” offers a reminder to keep chewing gum in your mouth (unless you’re having a bubble blowing contest), and “A Co Di By Doze” offers instructions for playing the telephone game. Throughout the collection, featured musicians are top notch, and performances are perfectly matched to the lyrics. The hilarious title song, “The Disappointing Pancake”, features brilliant banjo playing by none other than Steve Martin. We hope our friend Mindy knows about this book. She’ll love it.