cover image Everything on a Waffle

Everything on a Waffle

Polly Horvath. Farrar Straus Giroux, $17.99 (160pp) ISBN 978-0-374-32236-6

Horvath (The Trolls) delivers another hilariously puckish read with this tale of a (possibly) orphaned girl from a small Canadian fishing village. Eleven-year-old Primrose Squarp refuses to attend the memorial service for her parents after they disappear at sea. ""Haven't you ever just known something deep in your heart without reason?"" she demands of all and sundry, convinced her parents are still alive. Meanwhile, she is shuffled from the custody of her elderly neighbor Miss Perfidy to her likable but somewhat feckless Uncle Jack. Not unlike another beloved red-haired Canadian heroine, Primrose whose own hair is ""the color of carrots in an apricot glaze (recipe to follow)"" attracts trouble like a magnet. In addition to singeing the fur on the class guinea pig, she manages to lose a baby toe and part of a finger in chapters entitled ""I Lose a Toe"" and ""I Lose Another Digit"" accidents that land her in the foster care of an older couple whose stature and girth give them the look of ""kindly old hard-boiled eggs."" Primrose's lively recital of her misadventures comes complete with recipes, pungent descriptions (""the feeling of joy swept through my soul like fire up a vacuum"") and memorable characters, among them the tough-talking, golden-hearted owner of a local restaurant that serves everything (even fish and chips) on waffles. A laugh-out-loud pleasure from beginning to triumphant end. Ages 10-up. (Apr.)