The Dancing Pancake by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff (Knopf Books For Young Readers, 2010)

September 10, 2010 at 4:41 pm Leave a comment

While finishing sixth grade, Bindi faces a lot of change in her life creating a multitude of confusing emotions.  Her parents are separating, causing her mother and Bindi to move from their comfy house to a small apartment above The Dancing Pancake, where her mother will begin work.  The success of this new venture is financially important to Bindi’s aunt, uncle and mother.  At the same time, Bindi and her two closest friends seem to be drifting apart.  Told in verse, this outstanding story offers the message that if one focuses too much on the door that is closing, one may miss the wonderful opportunities of the door that is opening.  While helping out in the restaurant, Bindi’s learns a lot about the larger world from interacting and observing customers and employees. She develops a close friendship with a classmate, Albert, whose parents divorced a few years ago, and he helps her discover a lot about herself.  The writing is tight and vivid.  Some line art drawings are included, perfectly complimenting text that “shows and doesn’t tell.”    Ages  9-12

J-Recommended * —Anne Beier (Hendrick Hudson Free Library)

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Alberic the Wise and Other Journeys by Norton Juster, illustrated by Domenico Gnoli (Random House/Yearling 2010) Calvin Coconut: Zoo Breath by Graham Salisbury, illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers (Wendy Lamb Books 2010)

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