I have always had a love for children’s books, and my kids had every children’s book they asked for because for me reading was most important. I would rather my kids be reading a good book than playing a video game or watching television. My Pancakes Tate Different Today! Authored by Wood and Bruce Galpert is a wonderful story about a boy in love with his moms pancakes, but discovers that a lot goes into the process of making them.
As his mom explains where all the ingredients come from the Ethan takes it all in. One day he decides to go fishing and accidentally contaminates the river with trash. The next morning he thinks his pancakes taste different. Its clear that Ethan understands the process that goes into how fruits, vegetables and grains are grown.
Heather and Bruce Galpert authors of My Pancakes Taste Different Today! Talk about the book and why young children will like it
1. What inspired the idea behind this book?
BRUCE: As a young father with two sons, I read a lot to my kids…I also spent most Sundays cooking pancakes with and for them–I ate quite a few myself! Trying to teach my kids life lessons, recycling and protecting the environment were also concepts that were important, but difficult to teach to young kids. I always felt that it was hard for children to grasp how their actions could impact the environment positively or negatively. The idea of My Pancakes Taste Different Today! came out of that quest.
2. How would you describe the character of Ethan?
BRUCE: Ethan is just like my youngest son Evan was at that age. The character of Ethan is built around Evan: Ethan is eight years old, observant, intelligent, fun loving, sweet and kind to nature, animals and others. He loves his pancakes and his mother! He is smart and funny, has tons of friends, and is always asking questions. In real life, I now have a three-year old grandson named Ethan by way of my son Matthew, so all bases are covered!
3. What was the biggest challenge you faced in writing My Pancakes Taste Different Today!?
BRUCE: Getting started, the beginning, the middle, and the end! Writing is not my strong suit! Fortunately for me, my wife Heather came into my life. Not only did she inherit my family, but she inherited this project of 20 years that I was unable to complete, even after attending children’s book writing workshops given by some of the best writers in the business. She is credited for helping me put a structure around the story and move it from an idea to something I can hold and read to my grandkids.
4. What was the most rewarding moment you experienced while writing this book?
BRUCE: Seeing the beautiful artwork that Barbara Cate did, and how it worked in harmony with the writing to really tell the story. Heather and I have had such a wonderful time working on this together – it’s our baby.
5. How much research did you do for the book? What type of research did you do? BRUCE: Countless Sundays making all kinds of pancakes: blueberry, chocolate, apple fritters. Flipping pancakes and spending time with my boys, was the extent of my research, the best kind! And sadly, watching the growing environmental stress and crisis we are facing as the years march on.
6. What does your writing process look like?
BRUCE: A lot of hair pulling and the words just fall into place. Heather is the the writer in the family, I’m a numbers guy. She helped me tease out the story.
7. Where do you turn for inspiration?
8. Where did your interest in writing children’s books begin?
BRUCE: I have always had my favorite books…The 4 Chinese Brothers, Ferdinand the Bull, A Fly Went By, A Fish out of Water, Go Dog Go…many of these were based on cause and effect…progressive events. I am also a cartoon addict, still to this day I spend more time watching cartoons than any other medium. My son Evan is a brilliant voice over artist and my dream is to see him as a character in an animated film.
9. Which writers inspired you as a kid? Which writers inspire you today? (see above)
10. What are some ways to get young people interested in the environment and what foods they eat?
BRUCE: Farmer’s Markets, natural groceries, growing seeds from a packet at home. I think getting kids to engage with nature is the best way…sadly this is so hard for many kids around the world. I had the fortune to live in both Japan and the Philippines as a child and young adult, and the differences in the way each of those cultures reveres and cares for their environment is vast. It really begins culturally at a very young age.
11. How should kids be taught about personal responsibility and their role in sustainability? BRUCE: By their parents, actions speak the loudest.
12. How would you describe the importance of investing in our children?
BRUCE: They are all we have for the future, a dollar invested in them is worth many more dollars in return down the road. You are seeing this in action today with all of the technology innovations from well-educated Millennials
13. How do you like to eat your pancakes?
BRUCE: I like putting chopped apples in the batter, adding cinnamon, and then topping with a blend of butter, syrup, and raspberry jam! Don’t forget to sprinkle powdered sugar on at the last minute.
14. What do you hope readers take away from My Pancakes Taste Different Today!?
BRUCE: I hope that parents read the book to their kids and that the book is also used as an early reader. This will be the best way to teach children how their actions impact their world.
15. What future projects are you working on?
BRUCE: We have two books in the hopper that we are both very excited about. One thing at a time I am told by my wife, but creativity has no timeline
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