Parr, Maria. Adventures with Waffles
May 12th 2015 by Candlewick Press
First published in 2005, in Norwegian
Lena and Trille live in a small coastal town near the mountains in Norway. Lena has a single mother, whom she would like to fix up with the local doctor, who pays many visits to Lena's house, since she is always involved in some adventure that leads to an accident. Trille has supportive parents, a sister adopted for Colombia, his grandfather, and Auntie Granny, his grandfather's sister, who makes the eponymous waffles. Smoking haddocks, do the children get into adventures. They take the ferry to the mainland and busk in order to earn money to buy a soccer ball, pretend to be living during WWII, unfortunately involving the resident of a nursing home who thinks that WWII is still going on, and facilitating Lena's running away when her mother wants to move away from Trille's family. Told in anecdotes that take us through a year, this book showcases everyday Norwegian life.
Strengths: This had the feel of classic children's literature, so fans of The Penderwicks, Elizabeth Enright, or my favorite picture books, Flicka, Ricka and Dicka will like this. I learned a few things about life in Norway, including the fact that people still wear wooden shoes on farms. Love the cover.
Weaknesses: A bit too young for middle school.
What I really think: An optional purchase for most schools, although fun if there is a large Norwegian population.
Lena's birthday is tomorrow, and so is mine!