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Everything on a Waffle

Last updated Friday, December 14, 2012

Author: Polly Horvath
Date of Publication: 2008
ISBN: 0756987768
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Dec. 2012

Synopsis: Amazon.com
In the small Canadian town of Coal Harbour, in a quaint restaurant called The Girl on the Red Swing, everything comes on a waffle--lasagna, fish, you name it. Even waffles! Eleven-year-old Primrose Squarp loves this homey place, especially its owner, Kate Bowzer, who takes her under her wing, teaches her how to cook, and doesn't patronize or chastise her, even when she puts her guinea pig too close to the oven and it catches fire. Primrose can use a little extra attention. Her parents were lost at sea, and everyone but her thinks they are dead. Her Uncle Jack, who kindly takes her in, is perfectly nice, but doesn't have much time on his hands. Miss Perfidy, her paid babysitter-guardian, smells like mothballs and really doesn't like children, and her school guidance counselor, Miss Honeycut, an uppity British woman of the world, is too caught up in her own long-winded stories to be any kind of confidante. Nobody knows what exactly to think of young Primrose, and Primrose doesn't quite know what to make of her small community, either.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you know where British Columbia is? Have you ever been to Canada?
•  Have you ever been on a boat or lived by the sea?

•  Anecdote- a short account of a story or an event, especially one that is interesting or amusing.
•  Tussle- to struggle or fight.
•  Dwindling- to become smaller and smaller or waste away.
•  Ruddy- having a healthy red color.
•  Fortuitous- happening by chance, lucky.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why is Miss Honeycut living in Coal Harbour, according to Primrose? Why is Primrose intrigued by her?
•  Why does it bother Miss Honeycut that Primrose still thinks her parents are alive?
•  Why is the recipe for carrots in an apricot glaze important to Primrose?
•  Is Primrose hurt by Uncle Jack's initial attitude toward her? Why does Uncle Jack change his mind?
•  What does Miss Bowzer think about the disappearance of Primrose's parents?
•  Why do the girls at school tease Primrose by saying her Uncle Jack is a developer?
•  Why does Uncle Jack think developing will be good for Coal Harbour?

Craft ideas:
•  At The Girl on the Red Swing they put everything on a waffle. Have the students make up their own waffle recipes and draw advertisements for their creations.
•  Primrose believes her parents have disappeared at sea. Have the students draw and illustrate a map locating Primrose's parents.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!