The word 'shrove' is a form of the English word 'shrive' which means to obtain absolution for one's sins by way of Confession and doing penance. So Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the custom for Christians to be "shriven" before the start of Lent.
Lent is the period of fasting for 40 days in the Christain faith. Traditionally, people did not eat eggs or fat during Lent. Making pancakes was a good way of using up these foods before it started.
Pancakes are made in varying forms all over the world and 'Mama Panya's Pacakes' is a tale from Kenya which includes the recipe for Mama's pancakes at the back which a very different to the ones traditionally made in England at this time of year.
It is a lovely story about sharing and spreading happiness. As Mama and her little boy, Adika, walk to the market, Adika invites everyone they meet to join them for pancakes for tea. Although Mama is worried that the two small coins she has will never be enough to feed herself and her son, let alone guests, their kindness is rewarded as each visitor brings something with them.
The illustrations are bright and bold and there is additional information about Kenya at the back of the book. The story is rich in language choices, offering plenty of opportunities for discussion and sharing ideas. The book would make an excellent starting point for plenty of work in English and across the curriculum.
A great story for any time of year!
Mama Panya's Pancakes by Mary and Rich Chamberlin, illustrated by Julia Cairns
Barefoot Books ISBN: 978-1905236633