Everything on a Waffle

Everything on a WaffleEverything on a Waffle

by Polly Horvath

176 pages for middle readers and beyond

Have you ever known something to be true; known with all your heart, but not had any proof?  Primrose Squarp knows that her parents are alive.  She knows they were not lost at sea in the terrible storm that came to Coal Harbour.  Everyone else, however, considers her an orphan.  At first they try to pay elderly Miss Perfidy to take care of her.  That doesn’t work very well.  Then the town finds Uncle Jack – the developer – but they don’t like him very much.  Miss Honeycut, the school counseler (who no one seems to like much either), has it in for Primrose and see that she becomes a ward of the state and put into foster care.  Only Miss Bowser, owner of the The Girl on the Red Swing, has time for Primrose, recognizes her sadness and understands the beauty of hope and joy when it seems there should be none. Miss Bowzer talks to her, teachers her to cook and knows that sometimes accidents happen – just because they are…accidents.

The charactes in this book are both funny and philosphical.  The books shows you there is mucht to be said for traveling, and at the same time there is much to be noticed about your own home town.  Having everything on a waffle may be ho-hum at home, but extraordinary for those who come to visit. You’ll love the characters and be surprised by how events unfold – or rather fall like dominoes, one after another after another.  You may even decide to try some of the recipes shared at the end of each chapter – perhaps chocolate covered cashews, tea biscuits (no mothballs please) or even waffles, because everything should come on a waffle.

Winner of the 2001 Boston Globe Hornbook Honor Award book for Fiction and Poetry  and a 2002 Newbery Honor Book.

I’ve decided that I am going to read all of Polly Horvath’s books over our next vacation break – well, as many as I can.  All that I have read are funny in a bittersweet way.  The characters are ordinary and yet, totally unique.  They stick with me and keep coming to mind with a flash of happiness and calm.  I’m curious.  You might be too.  You can learn more here at her website. I’ll let you know what I find.

Boy

Wow! Did this all happen? Well, according to Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl it did! This amazing 176 page book is an autobiography about all the adventures and mischief little Roald Dahl got into when he was a boy. From friendships to fantasies, Dahl covers it all. He helpfully splits the book up into sections of age, important points in his life and when those things happened. My favorite part of the book is when he and his friends dropped a mouse into the candy jar to pull a prank on the mean old lady who sold candy. It was my favorite part of the book because when the shop is closed the next day and they go to school, the mean old candy seller, Mrs. Pratchett is there and she accuses them of stealing and they get the cane.

 “’Arder!” shrieked a voice from over in the corner. Now it was our turn to jump.  We looked round and there, sitting in one of Mr Coombes’s big leather armchairs, was the tiny loathsome figure of Mrs Pratchett!” That is a excerpt from the book in the chapter entitled Mrs Pratchett’s Revenge. This effectively showcases the spectacular vocabulary, laugh-out-loud humor and wonderful writing that is in this fantastic book. If you are a boy or girl, who likes humor, real life adventures and learning new words in your stories then this is the book for you.

George’s Marvelous Medicine

George's Marvellous Medicine first edition.jpgGeorge's Marvelous Medicine

George Kranky lives with his Mother, Father and Grandmother on a farm. When George is alone in the house with his Grandmother, she is rude and mean to him. She tells him that if he is selfish, he will shrink and if he wants to grow, he  has to eat some cabbage!! Ugh!!  She is the most selfish person George knows, so he thinks that she should get a taste of her new medicine. You see, his Grandmother has to take her medicine periodically, so why not make a new one for her. So George follows no specific recipe, just adds a little bit of this and a little bit of that, some toothpaste and some antifreeze and violá! Her new medicine is born! Read this book and see the spectacular affect that it causes.

***Notice that “Marvelous” is spelled differently on both covers. The alternate spelling is “Marvellous”. Maybe this is because that is the version from the UK. Maybe.

Click HERE for the Official Roald Dahl website where you can find games, lots of stuff about Roald Dahl and much more!

Watch and hear a clip from the audiobook version of George’s Marvelous Medicine:

Click HERE for RoaldDahlFans.com which has everything, if not more than the Official Roald Dahl Site. It even includes stuff for teachers!