Marsupial Sue Presents "The Runaway Pancake" by John Lithgow, Jack E. Davis |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Marsupial Sue Presents

Marsupial Sue Presents "The Runaway Pancake"

4.5 11
by John Lithgow, Jack E. Davis

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"I'm too fast, you're too slow. Pan, pan, patty-cake pan, I can get away from you, I can!"
The much-loved story of the Runaway Pancake who pops out of the oven and is sure he can escape all who want to eat him, is given a new spin when Marsupial Sue and her friends put on a play version for their neighborhood. This has all of the wit and whimsy of Marsupial


"I'm too fast, you're too slow. Pan, pan, patty-cake pan, I can get away from you, I can!"
The much-loved story of the Runaway Pancake who pops out of the oven and is sure he can escape all who want to eat him, is given a new spin when Marsupial Sue and her friends put on a play version for their neighborhood. This has all of the wit and whimsy of Marsupial Sue and again features lively illustrations by Jack E. Davis. From the friends' preparations behind the scenes to the actors' final bows, readers will be inspired by the production. A CD recording of John Lithgow's live performance of the song "The Runaway Pancake" is also included.

Editorial Reviews

Marsupial Sue, the kangaroo, returns for an encore, starring with her fellow Aussie pals in a boisterous backyard play production of The Runaway Pancake. Lithgow's comic wordplay combines with zany pictures to create an exuberant read-aloud. Best of all are the cast's hilarious homemade costumes (picture a tasmanian devil posing as a fox with taped-on whiskers and a toilet-brush tail). A CD of Lithgow reading the story is included. (ages 4 to 6)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2005
Publishers Weekly
The spunky gal first introduced in Marsupial Sue here presents a retelling of the tale of the Runaway Pancake as a neighborhood play, Marsupial Sue Presents "The Runaway Pancake": Book and CD by John Lithgow, illus. by Jack Davis. What starts out onstage, however, quickly bursts onto spreads of Davis's quirky landscapes, filled with an offbeat cast (the Fox sports a jester-like cast, a koala uses socks to look the part of a canine, etc.), all in pursuit of one rolly-polly, boisterous pancake. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Marsupial Sue and her friends are presenting their version of "The Gingerbread Man." Sue has the role of Auntie May, who cooks a pancake in the oven. As soon as it is done, it jumps out of the pan and rolls away, singing as it goes. It meets a variety of animals until it is finally outsmarted by a fox. Because the story is set as a play, Davis has the challenge of depicting animals dressed as other creatures. Some of them are hard to decipher and could be confusing to children. Also confusing is the fact that as the play begins, the colored-pencil, acrylic, dye, and ink illustrations depict a stage with an audience, but as it progresses, the setting changes to the countryside. The text is printed on top of the bright, full-page cartoon art, an effect that is busy but readable. The book reads like a transcript of a storyteller's performance and follows closely Lithgow's own words on the accompanying CD. His performance is animated and highly entertaining. Almost as delightful are the background comments by the young "live" audience. Despite the shortcomings of the book, the CD is worth the purchase price. Note, however, that Marsupial Sue is never mentioned by name; she is simply "Auntie May," which may disappoint readers expecting her to have a bigger role in the book.-Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In this hilarious sequel, Sue, Bartholomew Koala, Sydney Wombat, Winifred Wallaby, Percy Platypus, Melbourne Sheep and Neville, the Tasmanian Devil star in their local Aussie production of "The Runaway Pancake." Sue plays Auntie May who bakes a pancake for lunch that jumps from the oven wearing a "naughty expression on his face" and runs away singing, "I'm too fast, you're too slow. . . . I can get away from you, I can." With Auntie May in hot pursuit, the Runaway Pancake rolls through the countryside taunting all with his cocky refrain. Soon a Dog, a Cow, a Donkey, a Wolf and a Bear join the chase until the Fox lures the renegade Pancake just close enough. Colored-pencil, acrylic and ink illustrations packed with wacky details are entertaining in their own right, especially the Pancake in his running shoes. From endpages showing cast and crew prepping backstage to the final-page bow, this rollicking, rib-tickling, rhythmic rendition of a favorite tale will provide a gleeful read-aloud and sing-along. (CD recording of author's live performance) (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Book and CD
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

John Lithgow is the New York Times bestselling author of I Got Two Dogs; Mahalia Mouse Goes to College; Marsupial Sue Presents: The Runaway Pancake; I’m A Manatee; Micawber; Marsupial Sue; The Remarkable Farkle McBride; and Carnival of the Animals. An award-winning actor, he has starred on stage, film, and television. He performs concerts across the country and has recorded the CDs Farkle and Friends, Singin’ in the Bathtub, and The Sunny Side of the Street. Visit John at

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Marsupial Sue Presents the Runaway Pancake 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
onlygranny More than 1 year ago
When I asked my 6 year old granddaughter what book her soon to be 5 year old cousin would like for her birthday. She replied, "Marsupial Sue" of course. It is a super fun book especially when you play the Jon Lithgow CD. The grand kids listen to it again and again until they can repeat it verbatim with all the inflections! The 8 and 2 year old enjoy it as much as the 5 Andy 6 year old. It is basically the same story as the "Gingerbread Man."
Maryineastwest More than 1 year ago
Pop in that CD a let John Lithgow do the reading and singing for you. My boys are 2 and 4 and the 4 year-old in particular loooooves this book. He wants to read over and over again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Trooston More than 1 year ago
I gave this book to a kindergarten classroom studying Australia and they loved it! The pictures are colorful, the CD and song and animated and catchy. It is a fun story whether you listen to the CD or not. John Lithgow makes it great with his reading the story and singing the song!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jmwhite1119 More than 1 year ago
We love this book, and our kids love singing along with the Pancake. It's just a lot of fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have Thoroughly enjoyed using this book with my 4 and 5 yrs old class. I put it in the CD when I got it home and played it for my husband. We have always loved John Lithgow and his voice makes it come alive. I have played the CD 2times for the kids and taken it home. Once I didn't have a CD and read it myself but I didn't have the same edge as the CD. All the children were singing along. Splendid for memory. I actually know a child who seriously stutters and he can sing the song perfectly. Mel Tillis anyone? So this book is good for all ages and very good for spontaneous reaction from children. The only drawback was that one little girl was upset over the ending, and sensitive to the fact the pancakes was eaten whole. This took some explaining about the fantasy of the book, teaching them that all the characters in the book were fictional.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I teach kindergarten and I had to purchase a copy so we can have our own in the classroom. I use it when we read variations of the gingerbread man.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Celebrity authored books are all the rage; a famous name helps sell copies and publishers are eager to promote such books. Unfortunately, being a celebrity does not make that person a good writer and many of these books suffer from poor plots, substandard writing or storylines that lack originality. Fortunately, Marsupial Sue Present The Runaway Pancake rises above the clutter of lackluster celebrity books for children. In Marsupial Sue, Sue and her friends are putting on a play with Sue in the lead role of Auntie May. When Auntie May decides to cook herself a pancake, the narrator of the play cautions that "You must never, ever, EVER cook a pancake in a hot oven. And my story will tell you why." Auntie May puts her pancake in the oven and then does housework while her lunch cooks. But she soon hears a noise from inside the oven. When she opens the door, out pops her pancake, complete with eyes, nose, mouth and feet. As her lunch runs away, Auntie May pleads for it to return. The pancake teases, "No, no. No, no, no. I'm too fast, you're too slow. Pan, pan, patty-cake pan, I can get away from you, I can!" With Auntie May following, the pancake comes upon a dog who is also eager to eat it, but the pancake refuses to be anybody's lunch and repeats his jingle, this time adding a line about the dog. Soon, the pancake has a whole host of animals, along with Auntie May, chasing him and the jingle he repeats on each page has grown much longer, as he adds a line for each animal. It looks as though the pancake might escape until he comes upon the sly, old red fox. (It is odd that the illustrator choose to draw the red fox as purple.) Marsupial Sue is not a new theme, it's a rehashing of the runaway gingerbread man, however, Lithgow does a good job of recounting the adventure. Children will enjoy the ever growing jingle and have fun anticipating what will happen as the pancake meets each new animal. I'm not sure why Lithgow choose to present the story as if Marsupial Sue and her friends were putting on a play. The play aspect gets lost in the story and serves no purpose. Quill says: Better than most celebrity authored stories, it's not original, but it is fun.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book and cd are son absolutely loves it. He shared it with his Pre K class and they keep asking him to bring it back. The story is fun and the music is contagious...sure to be a children's classic!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My son is 5 years old and loves animals , loves story's and this book... i got him for his birthday ,it comes with a cd that also has john lithgow telling the story and singing the song its deightful ,my son reads along with it sings the song ....just truly laughs and sings and reads it over and over filled with lots of animals and of course my sons favitote food ..panckaes so its a winner can't wait for the next one!