It doesn’t matter whether you are the cook or the consumer; a batch of pancakes, French toast or even waffles any time of the day is cause for a culinary celebration. Each mouth-watering bite is ambrosia for your senses. The smell circulating in the air will not only lift your spirits for the moment but take you back to all those wonderful memories associated with the delight…WAIT A MINUTE! WHAT IS THAT REVOLTING REEK?
On Monday March 9, 2015 the world met two new delicious children’s literature characters in the cover reveal for Josh Funk’s debut picture book, Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast, illustrated by Brendan Kearney. In this post we were treated to behind-the-scenes information from both Josh and Brendan about the process for creating a narrative and pictorial fun and funny fare. When Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast was found on bookshelves in our favorite stores and libraries on September 1, 2015 we discovered the breakfast buddies did battle but they realized everything is not as it appears…or disappears.
In their second adventure to be released in the spring of 2017, the cuisine companions heed a desperate call to action from a pastry pal. Something malodorous this way wafts. What will the duo discover?
HAPPY BOOK-TRAILER-REVEAL DAY TO YOU JOSH! Thank you for visiting Librarian’s Quest again. It’s an honor to have you back today. Ever the answer-seeker, I have a few questions for you before the curtains rise on the production.
As if two foods having a race for the last drop of maple syrup is not inventive enough, this time their adventure takes not the form of a competition but of a mystery. Granted that at the end of their first escapade the duo decide working as friends is better (to taste butter), what made you decide to have them become sleuths?
Well, Margie, have you ever opened the fridge and realized that something went bad? You know that you’ve got to immediately find the culprit and get rid of it before the entire house is consumed. So you start with the usual suspects: the dairy, the leftover takeout, maybe some spoiled produce that slipped in the cracks. And if you’re lucky, you discover it quickly.
But sometimes, after sticking your nose into nearly every jar, tub, and container … you still haven’t found it. So you end up spending all day cleaning the fridge. And when the fridge is nearly empty, and you think you’ll never find it, and you wonder whether your sense of smell has been permanently destroyed, it turns out to be the last thing you’d have suspected. Maybe that hasn’t happened to you, but I’ve certainly been there once or twice.
The first book was a race, a competition. But there’s a whole world inside the fridge. In this adventure we experience a mystery. Maybe next time it’ll be a spy thriller...
What prompted the introduction of another character as the Inspector?
Just like I couldn’t have (spoiler alert) either Lady Pancake or Sir French Toast get the syrup in the first book, it would have been unfair to make just one of them a detective (I mean, which would be Holmes and which would be Watson?). And if they both were detectives, they’d constantly bicker … again (and we’ve already seen that). So we meet Inspector Croissant.
In some ways, both Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast are side characters in this story and Inspector Croissant takes the lead. As he’s Sir French Toast’s nephew, we get that he’s younger, and very inexperienced (and unsuccessful) at detective work. And I know someone will say “who puts croissants in a fridge?” to which I’ll answer, “Emily Dickinson, of course!”
Your food places such as Trifle Tower, Taco Bridge and Marshmallow Coast add to the whole picture of a refrigerator being an entirely unexplored world. How do you think of these places? Is there a special technique you use?
As soon as I saw Brendan Kearney’s art for the original Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast, I began to imagine all the things that were possible in the fridge-world he created. It was magical. All I had to do was come up with some absurd combination of location-mixed-with-food … and Brendan would create a visual representation that far exceeded my expectations.
And I generally write about foods that I like. I think I knew I wanted to work some sort of mexican food into the story and enchiladas don’t work with the rhyme scheme. But tacos do, and they’re easy to say (and tasty to eat!). It actually took a while to figure out what the coast was gonna be. I think at one point it was some sort of pie. But who wouldn’t want to swim around and slurp up that ooey gooey ocean Brendan drew (sorry - hold on a sec - let me wipe the drool off my mouth).
The tune is very catchy for this trailer Josh. The voices are familiar. Is it the same group as your previous trailer for the first title? Did you write the words? the music?
Thanks, Margie! Yes, the voices are me, me, me, me, me, me, and me. I also wrote and arranged all the words and music. If the GarageBand app existed when I was in college, I’d probably be a rockstar right now (or at least a roadie). As it was, all I had was a four-track recorder - which was much more difficult to use than my phone. I’ve recorded all of the audio for all of my trailers on my phone. It’s so fun!
I know you are very knowledgeable about computer software. Did you create this trailer, Josh?
I did. I made it with iMovie (on a laptop, not my phone).Other than a few custom images I created (using gimp), it’s mostly just a slideshow set to the song. Not too tricky to create. It gets a little easier every time, and this is the fourth one I’ve made (the first three being Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast, Pirasaurs!, and Dear Dragon).
Are there any final thoughts you would like to share with readers before we reveal the trailer?
I hope you enjoy it. I know Jess Keating thinks it’s a little creepy, but that’s just because she has a debilitating fear of glockenspiels. Oh, and make sure to clean out your fridges before May 2nd!
Thank you so much for hosting the trailer, Margie! I can’t wait to share the entire book with everyone! Give my best to Mulan!
You are most welcome, Josh. Mulan thinks these books are pretty tasty. Clearly readers are in for a rollicking romp as our intrepid heroes seek to rid the fridge of the foul fragrance. Who or what could be the cause of the interior’s destruction? With each page turn, the clues will be compiled. Dare we speculate on the despicable scoundrel responsible?
Thank you Josh for answering these questions and for giving readers another chapter in the lives of Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast. I know you will want to learn more about Josh Funk and his other work which you can do by following the link attached to his name to access his website. Josh Funk also maintains a blog brimming with information about his books and the writing process. Josh can be found promoting all children’s literature on Twitter at @joshfunkbooks.