cover image Adventures with Waffles

Adventures with Waffles

Maria Parr, trans. from the Norwegian by Guy Puzey, illus. by Kate Forrester. Candlewick, $15.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7636-7281-2

This heartfelt and humorous debut novel comes to the U.S. having received award attention abroad and spawned a television show in the author’s native Norway. Trille considers his classmate Lena his best friend (“There isn’t really any such thing as an ordinary day when you’ve got a... friend like Lena”), but she’s too free-spirited to think of their relationship in those terms. The episodic novel follows the friends as they make mischief together—playing Christmas music in June for money on the street, for example, or pretending they are spies while riding on Trille’s grandfather’s moped. “You and Lena never do the same thing twice,” exclaims Trille’s father after the busking incident. “You only come up with more insanity!” Trille and Lena’s warm friendship recalls that of Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi and Tommy, though Parr does engage in serious issues, too. Lena’s hunt for a father (her mother is her only family) often has Trille considering his own close-knit family, and the loss of Trille’s grandmother and his shared grief with his grandfather are tenderly and authentically treated. Forrester’s handsome b&w silhouette-style images open each brief chapter. Ages 7–9. (May)