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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Waffles And Pancakes: A Lesson In Being Different is a beautifully told children’s tale about diversity, written by Cindy and Daniel Springsteen, and illustrated by Carol Ann Whittle. Waffles and Pancakes are two tiny hamsters who are enjoying family visitors at Christmas time. When gifts are distributed amongst the family, Waffles and Pancakes are horrified to see one Christmas gift in particular – a cat named Matz, a new pet for the family’s son, Danny. Waffles and Pancakes hide from Matz, as does the family dog, Lexi. Matz feels sad and very alone. He does not understand why the other pets do not want to be friends and play with him. When it rains outside, Waffles and Pancakes are forced to face their fears, with surprising results.
This is one of the more positive and interesting books I have read in recent weeks as it deals with a highly sensitive issue which is faced in all countries around the globe right now: DIVERSITY. Cindy and Daniel Springsteen’s tale of three pets, all of whom are absolutely terrified of the newest family member for no other reason than that it looks different, delivers a very important message about fear being a learned thing. Too many people assume that just because somebody or something looks different it cannot be tolerated. The new cat, Matz, faced long and lonely days without any friends in his new home simply because he was not a hamster and was not a dog.
When people assume that someone or something is dangerous simply because that person or thing is not like them, it sends a tragic message of intolerance. As a Deaf person living in an audist and surdophobic country, I am all too aware of being judged for being different to how the government sees an “ideal person,” so I am quite familiar with automatic exclusion based on something that is out of my control. I very much like the message which Waffles And Pancakes: A Lesson In Being Different shines on the world and recommend it to readers aged 5-12 years of age, so that they can actively help make the world a more accepting, tolerable and inclusive place in the future.