Marsupial Sue Presents "The Runaway Pancake"
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Marsupial Sue Presents "The Runaway Pancake" (Marsupial Sue)

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  111 ratings  ·  34 reviews
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 f

Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published August 30th 2005)
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Mary-Kate Ganssle
Title: Marsupial Sue presents The Runaway Pancake
Author: John Lithgow
Illustrator: Jack E. Davis
Date of Publication: 2005
Genre: Fiction

Marsupial Sue and her friends put on a play retelling story of the Gingerbread Man. In their story, a pancake pops out of the oven and makes a run for it, sure he can escape everyone who comes in his way wanting to eat him. He is able to run away from six people before encountering the sly fox where he is finally outsmarted and meets his demise.

Ellie LOVES this book. It comes with a CD with John Lithgow as the narrator and he is fantastic in the CD. Ellie won't let me read it.

The only thing that bugs me is that it's about a group of animals putting on a play so they are all dressed up as other animals, which could be cute, but is more confusing than anything.

The accompanying audio CD as read by John Lithgow is fantastic. I love this dude. Once you read this to/with kids you will be humming the pan pan panny-cake pan song all the time.
Deb Jones
In The Runaway Pancake, a pancake stars in his own play which is reminiscent of the gingerbread man. The illustrations depict the story as a theatre production, but elaborates on the adventure of the Runaway Pancake with detailed drawings and humorous characters. Although young children will enjoy the repetitive chants and predictable storyline, the dialogue can become wordy at times, which may not be suitable for young readers. The rich colors and vivid drawings are very entertaining and add pe...more
This books was very fun, but I listened to it with the LIVE John Lithgow CD and I just can't imagine reading it the plain old boring have to hear him sing the song and tell the story. If I would have just read the story I would given it a 3 star, but to hear the song and the fun and his inflections made it a 4 for me....

After looking at the book again I see that the illustrations are of a play that Marsupial Sue is doing. I wondered why the wolf had what looked like a quilted ears...n...more
Perhaps better known to adults for his stage and screen work, actor John Lithgow has an amazing body of work for children. His picture books are some of my (and my children’s) absolute favorites!

Topping the list for me is The Remarkable Farkle McBride. The story centers around a young boy who is a musical prodigy. He is able to master instrument after instrument with ease, but throws each one away as he becomes bored with it. Through an unfortunate illness on the part of the orchestra conductor...more
Julia Jasztal
Mommy's review from 11/2/11 -

4.5 - John Lithgow is a genius! I think the first book we read by him was Micawber and we both loved, loved, loved it. Soon after that we read I Got Two Dogs which neither of us especially cared for and then we got around to Mahalia Mouse Goes to College: Book and CD which was somewhere in the middle. (We're in complete agreement on his books which doesn't always happen.) I can't remember if we've read I'm a Manatee:. If we did we must not have loved it or hated it...more
Jana Justen
I love this book, the joy and laughter that comes from the children is contagious. I have read this book to my students, let them listen to the cd readaloud and they can't get enough of it. The story is a retelling of The Gingerbread Man, but instead of a gingerbread man cookie, it's a pancake trying to get away from all the characters in the story. This could be used in the classroom when discussing and learning about folktales. The pictures are so full of details, down to a fly carrying a suit...more
1st- 3rd

What would you do if you saw a pancake run away from you? Where do you think it goes? Well this pancake's adventure is wild. He takes off and helps all of his friends put on a play. The play is one crazy time for the pancake. With Jack E. Davis's illustrations the reader gets into the story. This story is also accompanied with a Cd for struggling readers to listen while reading.
Students while reading can be asked to predict what would happen next by using the in text clues. This is a...more
Mortis Boys
The boy liked this one.
This book is so cute! It tells the classic story of "the runaway pancake" that gets out of the pan runs away. But, this book has Marsupial Sue and all her friends putting it on as a play, which I was not really aware of until the end! It's so funny and kids love it! The illustrations are also really fun and colorful and the ever changing facial expressions of the pancake are priceless!

If you read this book, be sure to get the CD that comes with it because John Lithgow does an amazing job narrat...more
Personally it's tons more difficult to rate children's books, no doubt this one caused me no trouble at all. I think the Cd that came along was absolutely amazing and fantastic all at once.I've always been aware of most of Lithgow's work and never have I came across his books on tape until last night. He is nothing but acing stars and I envy his storytelling skills.After today I can say I will not attempt to read the run away pancake on my own...
Jessica Crockett
I absolutely love this book! It's so much fun to read and my 2 year old likes to act out the book! I wish John Lithgow wrote more of the Marsupial Sue series!
Christine Turner
Sue, a kangaroo, and some of her Australian animal friends put on a play called "The Runaway Pancake."

The CD that comes along with this book is very good. This book would work well if you are teaching naritive skills to young children! That being said, I really do not like the text that they used in the book.

Audio Book Blog
A building story that would be fun to read in a story time. But how in the world does this have anything to do with my "Happiness" Book Time theme? Not sure how this came in my search. But I still enjoyed it. I should probably listen to the recording to get the full effect, too. Funny pictures, although the pancakes was a little scary. I loved the characters and their costumes.
May 10, 2008 Cindy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Cindy by: Heidi, Bronson
Have to give this five stars because of my son. He is autistic and usually only reads Dr. Seuss and some select Nick Jr. renditions of classics. But we have been reading this a few times this week with the audio CD. He has stayed focused every time and seems to enjoy the song. Thanks for the recommendation and to Mr. Lithgow (also to the illustrator Jack E. Davis)!
Ages: Grades K-3

A fun take on the Gingerbread man. This book could be used along with a study of prepositions, measurements, or a "how to" unit. Discussions on the book could include: animal traits, greed, and pride. The story the also has a lot of repetation, so the studnets could read (or sing) along with the story.
Sep 26, 2010 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: 2010, childrens, rhyming
We've seen many variations on this tale (Gingerbread Man, Musubi Man), so this was a familiar, if slightly different story. We love John Lithgow's stories, and this one did not disappoint. Our girls enjoyed watching this book read aloud on the Tumblebooks website (
I'm not a fan of this illustration style to begin with, but add in the fact that animal characters are dressing up as other animals (confusing!) and that the drawings become more and more chaotic until it's almost grotesque, and I am not impressed.
Animals are all dressed up to be on the stage. The adorable Play: The Runaway Pancake is on!

This picture book is my secret weapon for entertaining large crowd and restless kids. Even the grown-ups think that the story is funny.
Stephanie Hobbs
Kylie says, "I love this book!" Very fun and it's a must to have the book/cd set because John Lithgow reads and sings the story. The girls really enjoyed it.
Jessica Vandrovec
Young kids just LOVE this story! It is funny and has a familiar text to text connection. You'll find your students singing along in no time!
Lindsey Meyer
This book doesn't entertain children as well by itself as it does when the cd is being used but overall children really love this story.
It was a cute book. However,I read a similar version "The Gingerbread Man" by Bonnie Rutherford as a child.
So funny, Sophia has loved this book from kindergarten and we still sing the song. Get the version with CD.
SO much fun to read aloud with kids of all ages! They love the repetition and joining in!
This is simply awesome when done with all of the fun voices. LOVE this book!
Demetrius Rogers
This is a great story, told in a fun sing-song way. Kids loved this one.
Mommy says: A lot of fun to read. "Pan, pan, pattycake pan ..."
Erika Taylor
3 out of 3 kids love this book. It is a daily read in our house!
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Photo taken by David Shankbone
More about John Lithgow...
Drama: An Actor's Education The Remarkable Farkle McBride The Poets' Corner: The One-and-Only Poetry Book for the Whole Family I'm a Manatee: I'm a Manatee Marsupial Sue Book and CD

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