cover image Tyler Makes Pancakes!

Tyler Makes Pancakes!

Tyler Florence, illus. by Craig Frazier. Harper, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-204752-6

Chef and Food Network celebrity Florence makes his children’s book debut with an earnest tale about where food comes from—specifically the ingredients needed to make pancakes. When a boy named Tyler awakens from a pancake-themed dream, he’s ready to tackle making flapjacks for breakfast. Armed with a list, he heads to the market with his dog, Tofu, where Mr. Jones the grocer answers Tyler’s ingredient questions. “Buttermilk —whatever that is.... Does it come from a butter cow?” the boy asks. “Buttermilk comes from regular cows,” Mr. Jones explains. “It’s lemony and thicker and creamier than regular milk.” Dominated by pale blues and yellows, Frazier’s (the Stanley series) illustrations toggle between the market and the farm, and younger readers may find some of the shifts in location confusing. Florence’s text often has a didactic tone that doesn’t match the sunny lightness of Frazier’s art, done in a zippy cartoon style that employs thick blue outlines and blocks of bright color. Weak attempts at humor (usually involving Tyler’s dog) fall flat; a final spread offers a pancake recipe and additional facts about the various ingredients. Ages 4–7. (May)