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Norway Cauley, Lorinda Bryan. The Pancake Boy: An Old Norwegian Folk Tale. New York: Penguin Putnam, © 1988.

The mother, Goody Poody, hungry father and seven children begging for a bite of the sweet, round pancake who overhears them, becomes afraid and jumps out of the frying pan. The chase begins with the family running after the rolling pancake, however they must stop at the bottom of the hill since they are not shown again in the story. To escape his fate, the pancake continues to roll down the road meeting up with a host of characters with rhyming names: Manny Panny, Ducky Lucky, Goosey Poosey, Henny Penny, Cocky Locky and Gander Pander. Although all the animals wish to eat the pancake, they do not continue in the chase either. The pancake finally becomes a snack for a Piggy Wiggy who offers to carry it over a brook on his snout. A Norwegian tale of a runaway pancake using some dialectic such as “trice” and “t'other.” Includes recipe.

Russia Sierra, Judy. ©1996.

“The Bun.” Nursery Tales Around the World. New York: Clarion,

In this Russian variation, the Old Man asks his wife to make him a bun to eat. After she makes the bun, she leaves it on the windowsill to cool. However, the bun has a different idea--it jumps off and rolls away. The bun meets up with several animals during its journey: a hare, a wolf and a bear. Each time it avoids capture and sings a little song. The bun finally meets an unfortunate end when it encounters a fox. The sly fox uses flattery and fakes a hearing problem in order to coax the bun closer. At last, the fox convinces the singing bun to perch upon his tongue so he can hear its song--then snaps the bun up in one bite. This book contains three versions of this tale type--Norway's "The Pancake," Russia's "The Bun," and America's "The Gingerbread Man." Includes source notes.

England Jacobs, Joseph. Johnny-Cake. New York: G.P. Putnam, ©1993. (out of print)

An old woman bakes a johnny-cake (a bread made with cornmeal) and places it in the oven to bake while she and her husband go off to work in the garden. The woman leaves her son to tend the oven while the cake bakes. When the boy is not paying attention, the johnny-cake pops out of the oven and rolls out the door. The energetic johnny-cake outruns numerous different characters--the family, well-diggers, ditch-diggers, a bear, and a wolf -- that all chase the cake until they are too tired or too far behind to continue. The johnny-cake finally rolls past a clever fox who, instead of giving chase, asks the cake where he is going. When the johnny- cake answers, the fox pretends not to hear and the over-confident johnny-cake stops rolling to answer. By enticing the cake to move closer in order to convey his message, the johnny-cake at last becomes a casualty of the cunning fox.


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