By Leslie Lindsay
Can a pancake save the world? That’s the question this delightful children’s tale sets out to seek.
Before going fishing one day, Ethan eats his favorite breakfast–pancakes! As his mom explains how pancakes are made with the help of the sun, clouds, rain, animals, and farmers, Ethan sees the world in a new way.
While playing outside, Ethan decides to create a big splash by throwing a can of in the lake and accidentally contaminates the environment. Time passes and one day Ethan notices that his pancakes taste different. Could that can in the lake have made that change? Ethan enlists the help of his friends to correct his mistake. Do Ethan and his friends repair that mistake, but most of all–what do they learn in the process?
Today, I am honored to have Bruce Galpert here to chat with us…over a big plate of pancakes!
Leslie Lindsay: I’m always curious about what inspired the idea behind stories, what drives someone to spend countess hours crafting a story…can you tell us your inspiration behind MY PANCAKES TASTE DIFFERENT TODAY?
Bruce Galpert: As a young father with two sons, I read a lot to my kids…I also spent most Sundays cooking pancakes with and for them–I ate quite a few myself! Trying to teach my kids life lessons, recycling and protecting the environment were also concepts that were important, but difficult to teach to young kids. I always felt that it was hard for children to grasp how their actions could impact the environment positively or negatively. The idea of MY PANCAKES TASTE DIFFERENT TODAY! came out of that quest.
L.L.: Tell us more about the character of Ethan. How would you describe him? Is he modeled after anyone in particular, your own son, perhaps?
Bruce Galpert: Ethan is just like my youngest son Evan was at that age. The character of Ethan is built around Evan: Ethan is eight years old, observant, intelligent, fun loving, sweet and kind to nature, animals and others. He loves his pancakes and his mother! He is smart and funny, has tons of friends, and is always asking questions. In real life, I now have a three-year old grandson named Ethan by way of my son Matthew, so all bases are covered!
L.L.: Writing is certainly not easy or glamorous–at least not all the time. What was the biggest challenge you faced in writing MY PANCAKES TASTE DIFFERENT TODAY! ?
Bruce Galpert: Getting started, the beginning, the middle, and the end! Writing is not my strong suit! Fortunately for me, my wife Heather came into my life. Not only did she inherit my family, but she inherited this project of 20 years that I was unable to complete, even after attending children’s book writing workshops given by some of the best writers in the business. She is credited for helping me put a structure around the story and move it from an idea to something I can hold and read to my grandkids.
L.L.: What was the most rewarding moment you experienced while writing this book?
Bruce Galpert: Seeing the beautiful artwork that Barbara Cate did, and how it worked in harmony with the writing to really tell the story. Heather and I have had such a wonderful time working on this together – it’s our baby.
L.L.: How much research did you do for the book? What type of research did you do?
Bruce Galpert: Countless Sundays making all kinds of pancakes: blueberry, chocolate, apple fritters. Flipping pancakes and spending time with my boys, was the extent of my research, the best kind! And sadly, watching the growing environmental stress and crisis we are facing as the years march on.
L.L.: What does your writing process look like?
Bruce Galpert: A lot of hair pulling and the words just fall into place. Heather is the the writer in the family, I’m a numbers guy. She helped me tease out the story.
L.L.: Writers get their inspiration from all places. Where do you turn for inspiration?
Bruce Galpert: Heather
L.L.: I love children’s books and I know exactly why: they were embedded in my young life as my dad read to me after work, his arms draped over my shoulders. Where did your interest in writing–and reading–children’s books begin?
Bruce Galpert: I have always had my favorite books…The 4 Chinese Brothers, Ferdinand the Bull, A Fly Went By, A Fish out of Water, Go Dog Go…many of these were based on cause and effect…progressive events. I am also a cartoon addict, still to this day I spend more time watching cartoons than any other medium. My son Evan is a brilliant voice over artist and my dream is to see him as a character in an animated film.
L.L.: Switching gears a bit, what are some ways to get young people interested in the environment and what foods they eat?
Bruce Galpert: Farmer’s Markets, natural groceries, growing seeds from a packet at home. I think getting kids to engage with nature is the best way…sadly this is so hard for many kids around the world. I had the fortune to live in both Japan and the Philippines as a child and young adult, and the differences in the way each of those cultures reveres and cares for their environment is vast. It really begins culturally at a very young age.
L.L.: How should kids be taught about personal responsibility and their role in sustainability?
Bruce Galpert: By their parents, actions speak the loudest.
L.L.: How would you describe the importance of investing in our children?
Bruce Galpert: They are all we have for the future, a dollar invested in them is worth many more dollars in return down the road. You are seeing this in action today with all of the technology innovations from well-educated Millennials
L.L.: So I have to ask, how do you like to eat your pancakes?
Bruce Galpert: I like putting chopped apples in the batter, adding cinnamon, and then topping with a blend of butter, syrup, and raspberry jam! Don’t forget to sprinkle powdered sugar on at the last minute. [Getting hungry for pancakes?! I am. Check out this delicious recipe from Bruce and Heather]
L.L.: What do you hope readers take away from My Pancakes Taste Different Today!?
Bruce Galpert: I hope that parents read the book to their kids and that the book is also used as an early reader. This will be the best way to teach children how their actions impact their world.
L.L.: What future projects are you working on?
Bruce Galpert: We have two books in the hopper that we are both very excited about. One thing at a time I am told by my wife, but creativity has no timeline!
To connect with Bruce and Heather, please visit these social media links:
Facebook: The Pancakes Book
Instagram and Pinterest: thepancakesbook
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About the Authors & Illustrator: Bruce lives with his wife Heather in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He attended the University of Dallas, where he majored in International Finance and Economics. Bruce has two adult sons, Matthew and Evan, and two grandchildren, Ethan and Avery. Growing up, Bruce lived in the Philippine Islands and Japan. He enjoys traveling, writing, skiing, chess, playing guitar, cooking and entertaining, playing tennis and golf. As a professional, Bruce has been an investment advisor for 32 years, he recommends that the best investment is an investment in our children. Heather thinks Bruce makes the best pancakes in the Whole Wide World!
Heather lives with her husband Bruce in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Heather has worked and volunteered most of her professional career in producing special events and fund raising for non profit organizations such as the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, The Santa Fe Community Foundation, and The Santa Fe Botanical Garden. She is a graduate of The Evergreen State College where she studied writing, art and design. Heather enjoys traveling, entertaining, decorating, hiking and playing tennis and golf. Bruce thinks Heather is a gourmet chef and budding tennis star.
Barbara: The Artist
Santa Fe artist Barbara Cate is an illustrator of books and has a greeting card line which may be seen at mesamooncards.com and at GardenandSoul.com. My Pancakes Taste Different Today! showcases her latest paintings. Barbara has lived in Hawaii and enjoys teaching children. Heather and Bruce think Barbara is the bee’s knees.
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[Special thanks to PRbytheBook for this review copy. Images courtesy of author’s publicist. Interior illustrations retrieved from author’s website. Pancake image retrieved from]