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Marsupial Sue Presents The Runaway Pancake: CD Inside!    by John Lithgow & Jack E. Davis order for
Marsupial Sue Presents The Runaway Pancake
by John Lithgow
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

John Lithgow brings back his popular Marsupial Sue in this new tale of the well-loved Runaway Pancake (he also narrates and sings the work on an enclosed audio CD). Marsupial Sue is putting on a play about the Pancake who ran away, singing '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!'

Jack E. Davis's illustrations (I love the headwear he uses as costumes for the play's cast of Aussie animals) show us a Pancake that looks very like a small boy engaged in mischief, and enjoying every minute of it. One by one, Pancake rolls past critters who'd love to munch him for lunch - Old Dog Tray (played by Bartholomew Koala), Cow (Sydney Wombat), Donkey (Winifred Wallaby), Wolf (Perth Platypus), Bear (Melbourne Sheep) - and naturally they all end up in the chase. But then the Pancake meets Fox (Neville, the Tasmanian Devil), who coaxes 'If you roll a little closer and you sing a little louder, I might better apprehend your expostulation.'

Will that be the end of Pancake, you wonder? Almost - you need to open up Marsupial Sue Presents The Runaway Pancake, in order to see the play and find out. It's well worth the effort. John Lithgow gives it a spirited reading, and sings Pancake's verses as only he can in a live performance on the engaging CD that's included with this delightful picture book.

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