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Mama Panya's Pancakes: A Village Tale from Kenya [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Mary Chamberlin , Richard Chamberlin , Julia Cairns
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Feb 2006
On market day, Mama Panya's son Adika invites everyone he sees to a pancake dinner. How will Mama Panya ever feed them all? This clever and heartwarming story about Kenyan village life teaches the importance of sharing, even when you have little to give.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Barefoot Books Ltd (20 Feb 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905236638
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905236633
  • Product Dimensions: 25.5 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'This is a clever and heartwarming Kenyan story about the rewards of friendship and the joy of sharing.' --Child Education, top 50 books of 2005

'Mama Panya's Pancakes is a charming village tale... the story ends happily with each guest bringing along a contribution - a message which reminds us that kindness is rewarded.' --Nursery Education

'Friendship brings its own reward in this beautifully illustrated and gentle tale of Kenyan village life.' --Willesden Bookshop

About the Author

Mary and Rich Chamberlin are a husband-and-wife writing team. They love to travel and have done so extensively, including trips to Kenya and Tanzania, where they contracted 'Mal Afrique', the strong desire to return to that great continent. They are longtime members of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and co-founders of several local writers' groups. When they aren't busy writing, Mary works as a freelance Television Producer and Director, and Rich as an engineer. Mary and Rich live in Naperville, Illinois, where they share their home with their dog Trisha, and their French-Lop rabbit Bean. You can visit their website at Julia Cairns began her career as a fine artist in Botswana, Africa, where she lived for nine years. Though she now resides in the United States, Julia continues to be inspired by the joyful and hopeful spirit that she found in the people of Botswana. Julia's artwork has been praised for its contrasts and colours. She has illustrated four books for children, including Off to the Sweet Shores of Africa, which was the recipient of an ALA Notable Award, and The Spider Weaver, which was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Children's Literature. Julia lives in British Columbia, Canada with her husband, two children, two dogs, two horses and three chickens.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
Mama Panya sang as she kicked sand with her bare feet, dousing the breakfast fire. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good description of rural life in Kenya 14 Sep 2008
By Steph
This is a beautifully illustrated book with a simple tale of a mother and son going off to market to buy ingredients for pancakes as a special treat. The son invites all their friends as they meet them and it looks like there won't be enough to go around, until everyone arrives with something to add to the party. The central theme is Kenya's national motto - harambee, pulling together - and the rewards of sharing. There's a nicely laid out factual section at the end about everyday life in rural Kenya with a map and even a recipe for pancakes. My 7 year old enjoyed reading this alone and then to me and we both learned new things about Kenya.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful story 2 Nov 2009
What a truly wonderful story.
This book is has wonderful pictures/beautifully illustrated.
The facts at the back of the book and the pancake receipe are an added bonus
Will be getting a few more for Christmas presents
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mama Panya's Pancakes 19 April 2009
By Marty
A great book to use with KS 1 & Foundation children. It was used as part of an African Fortnight topic, allowing you to cover many areas of the curriculum with this book. The children particularly enjoyed the food aspect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of Africa 20 Feb 2013
By Nicola Hardy TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Mama Panya and her son Adika set off for market. Adika is keen to know if Mama will be making pancakes that night. Once she says yes, he makes sure to invite all of their friends! Mama is nervous, as she is only carrying two coins, but Adika is confident that they will buy enough. Of course, they do, as all their guests bring gifts to share at the meal - fish, plantains, butter, milk and spices - as well as the gift of friendship itself.

This is a brilliant story for introducing toddlers to the idea of life in other countries. The illustrations, and the way in which the story is written - not to mention the odd bit of Kiswahili thrown in for good measure - really help transport the reader to Kenya. As well as the story itself, there's some great additional material in the back of the book to explain more about village life in Kenya, to introduce some of the trees and animals that we see in the illustrations, to give further information about Kiswahili and Kenya and, last of all, there's a recipe for Mama Panya's pancakes!

My two-and-a-half-year-old daughter really loves this book. She loves looking for Mama Panya's dog in all the pictures, and joining in with the story where she can. She has found the rather exotic names of all the characters fun to repeat and remember, and she has enjoyed learning a bit about Mama Panya's life, and how it is different from ours.

This review refers to the paperback edition of 'Mama Panya's Pancakes' published by Barefoot Books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book 25 Oct 2013
By Menace
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
No concerns nice pictures, and easy to read. I advise people to get thisbook for your children as it is entertaining. teaches about family values and sharing!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book 18 Aug 2013
By C.J
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for my two younger siblings. They loved the story and the illustrations. Well worth the money!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 15 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My class love it and like getting their tongues around the language, especially the foreign words for things. Well worth it
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Mama Panya's pancakes
A fabulous resouce being well used in school. The children love it and have took it to heart to the point that they are also buying it for themselves to have at home. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Juless
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely story
This book is a joy to read and is one of my four-year-olds firm favourites.This book definitely stands out from the rest and gives children an insight into another way of life. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Cake
5.0 out of 5 stars book
love it the children really listened to the story will probably get another one for my own house or as another present
Published 11 months ago by Ms. R. S. Macgregor
4.0 out of 5 stars Christmas Present
this was ordered for my son to give as a christmas present to his Ugandan neice, he was pleased with it.
Published 14 months ago by Mrs. P. M. Simmons
5.0 out of 5 stars mamma panyas pancakes
i bought it for my daughter toread to her class of 4 year olds and they loved it thank you
Published 14 months ago by Cynthia Smailes
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely African Story
A lovely African story teaching children about working together and friendship. Bought for a school topic about Africa this fits in well with PSHE and cultural studies.
Published 15 months ago by Sash
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book
Lovely story about community, working together being friendly open and generous. Lovely facts about Kenya. Great for maths language. Read more
Published on 6 Jun 2011 by Pre--school teacher
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