Everything on a Waffle (Coal Harbour #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Everything on a Waffle (Coal Harbour #1)

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  6,549 ratings  ·  580 reviews
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 put...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 8th 2004 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published April 1st 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Everything on a Waffle, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Everything on a Waffle

Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteElla Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineBecause of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamilloHatchet by Gary PaulsenRamona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
Newbery Medal Honor Books
52nd out of 306 books — 242 voters
Which Witch? by Eva IbbotsonWalden by Michael T. DolanPeter and the Starcatchers by Dave BarryEverything on a Waffle by Polly HorvathThe Gospel According to Larry by Janet Tashjian
book club books!
4th out of 16 books — 17 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I didn't expect to like this book, but I did, very much. What kept me reading was the main character, Primrose, who seemed separate from, in her youthful perspective, and yet a part of, the crazy/interesting people and events around her. And the idea of serving food on a waffle had a kind of appeal to me. Made me want to try it...
I loved this sweet little gem of a book! It is so surprisingly wise and inspiring and humorous. It really touched me and I'd give it five stars except that I don't think I would have liked it much when I was a kid and kids are, after all, the target audience for this book. I don't mean this in any sort of demeaning way to kids--I think they are incredibly wise and perceptive, sometimes in ways grown-up never can be again--but I think that so many of the observations about people and how and why...more
"At heart, we're all violent raging wolves, but in our actions we can be pacifists."

—Primrose Squarp, "Everything on a Waffle", P. 16

"Sometimes you get tempted to make something wonderful even better but in doing so you lose what was so wonderful to begin with."

—Primrose Squarp, P. 36

"Everything on a Waffle" was not exactly how I expected it to be, but it is an excellent novel that is built around a solid, empathetic heart and soul of gentle wisdom. Polly Horvath's quietly sage reasonings...more
I can hardly believe that the Newbery Honor was awarded to “Everything on a Waffle”. Cute cover, interesting title, but one of the most boring books I have ever read. There are so many superb Honor books, but this one doesn’t even come close to other winners such as: “Because of Winn Dixie”, “The Wednesday Wars”, “A Long Way from Chicago”, to name of few.

The plot is flat line and the humor is non-existent. The characters were just blah. Two things that bothered me: the cook smoking a cigarette w...more
Lena Hillbrand
I've been seeing this book in classroom libraries for years. I have to say, I enjoyed it. Maybe it was a little sweet for my taste, but still good. I thought the recipes were really cleverly incorporated, and I wanted to try them all.

The story was good, and I was engaged the whole time. I just thought it wrapped up a little *too* neatly at the end. Plus, I wanted the Girl on the Red Swing lady to get together with Uncle Jack!

Overall it was a light, fluffy read, a bit unrealistically happy but...more
Originally reviewed here.

I believe that when most people read the phrase “emotional comfort food read” their minds will immediately turn to the Chicken Soup for the Soul line of books that were so popular more than a decade ago. And yet, Polly Horvath’s Everything on a Waffle is exactly the type of book that fits under the emotional comfort food read heading. To me, there is no better way to describe the deep-seated warmth that filled my insides as I consumed this book. Bunbury readers know that...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Primrose Squarp is busy believing in the unbelievable.

Primrose’s mother and father are lost at sea – and Primrose has been living with her babysitter, Miss Perfidy ever since the wild storm that (supposedly) carried them away. But then her Uncle Jack arrives in the town of Coal Harbour, to become Primrose’s guardian.

Uncle Jack leaves the navy to come and live with Primrose (and start a housing development in the picturesque town) – but Primrose expects the arrangement will only be a temporary...more
Mar 31, 2012 Gale rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone who loves a great story
Don't skip this book because it is written in the voice of an 11-year-old.
This books is narrated by Primrose Squarp, who goes to live in a small fishing village on the seacoast with a quirky and miserly relative after her parents were lost at sea. Every chapter ends in some sort of recipe, which is skillfully woven into the story.
Owing much to Charles Dickens and Charlotte Bronte (two of my particularly favorite authors, so it is no wonder that I love her work), Polly Horvath is a masterful st...more
This audiobook was great for our trip. The story was engaging and the short chapters helped when we needed to find a stopping point while checking out our directions. The only drawback was the recipes. We wanted to try them out but couldn't remember all of them or the steps. I will check out the book just so we can leisurely peruse through the recipes and test out several of them. With the beginning, I was expecting more Pippi Longstocking but Primrose wasn't Pippi. Thank goodness! I can read Pi...more
You have got to love Polly Horvath. No, really, you do. Who else could pull off a novel such as this one, in which all the ingredients for a grim tragedy (parental deaths! maimings of innocents! homes burning down! children being shunted off into foster care! people generally being mean to one another, as they are in life) are instead whipped up into something sustained, hilarious, and ultimately life-affirming? Nobody else, I'd wager.

And yet the story is not a farce. It occasionally veers close...more
Primrose is not your average little girl she has hope that one day her parents will come back some day. It all started when a storm came,her and her mother were at home and didnt expect anything much to happen during the storm but, soon started to worry because her dad had gone out a few days before on a fishing trip the storm went on and he still wasnt back yet so her mom went out to look for him the next day still niether of them were back,Primrose moved in with a famliy friend everyone in her...more
Vikki VanSickle
This is an extremely clever, funny, and at times shocking novel from one of Canada's best writers, Polly Horvath. When Primrose's parents are lost at sea, she finds herself in the care of her lovable but clueless Uncle Jack, two befuddled dog-loving foster parents Bert and Evie, and the aloof but loyal Miss Bowzer, who runs a restaurant where everything is served on a waffle.

Horvath masterly balances humour and sadness, and creates a wonderful cast of characters that are impossible to forget.Her...more
This is a Newberry honor book that is great for tweens plus. The story is tragic but is told with a very positive, "we can get through anything" lens. What I love most about it is the recipes at the end of each chapter. For example in Chapter 1 she says that she has hair the color of carrots in an apricot glaze and at the end of the chapter is a recipe for carrots in apricot glaze. I love using literature as the jumping off point for various other subjects. If you read this with your child not o...more
Polly Horvath writes wonderful stories filled with quirky characters (in fact a whole town full of them) and preposterous events, but she always draws readers in and keeps them entertained. This is the story of Primrose Squarp. After a terrible storm, everyone in town has the believe that Primrose's parents have been lost at sea. Everyone but Primrose. While waiting hopefully for the return of her family, she takes comfort in a restaurant called "The Girl on the Red Swing" where EVERYTHING comes...more
How had I never read this Newbery Honor Book before? It's absolutely delightful. Girl finding her way story, hope and joy, small town characters serve as extended family, etc. Parts of it made me laugh out loud, and I liked (recipe to follow) at the end of every chapter.

I decided to read this now because there is a sequel (or companion book?) being published in the fall, and the ARC is waiting for me at Net Galley!
A quirky yet beautiful book about a girl growing up in the shadow of her parents' disappearance at sea. She holds onto the belief that they are still alive, even when no one else will support her. Most of the book chronicles the wacky citizens of her small New England town who include a mothball-obcessed foster parent and a restaurant owner who serves all of her food on waffles.
Cheryl in CC NV
The cover doesn't do the book justice - it's more exciting and thoughtful than that cartoon. The voice of the young girl is wonderful - she's frank & direct but is also open to the possibilities of the inexplicable. Most of the characters were richly layered - which wasn't obvious at first but as the girl matured and learned, we did too. Quick read. Especially for 'tweens.
2002 Newbery Honor Book

The main character in this book is a girl named Primrose. She lives in the coastal fishing town of Coal Harbour. Primrose has recently lost her parents when her father was out fishing in a storm and her mother went out in the storm to find him. She believes they are still alive while everyone else in the town believes them dead. She starts living with her Uncle Jack who has just moved to the town to develop the town into a tourist destination (something that the town is no...more
This was okay. I think I liked the author's The Trolls better. I do agree with Andrea, though, when she commented that it made her hungry. I thought it was clever of the author to include recipes at the end of each chapter.
Primrose is alone. She lost both of her parents after her mother rode a dingy out into a terrible storm searching for her father, and although the whole town thinks that she is now an orphan, she is convinced that they are alive. After staying with her babysitter for over a month, her uncle gets out of the Navy and takes over her care.

However, things are a little crazy. Her school counselor thinks she has lost her mind, and the kids at school don't know what to think of her. The only place she...more
Stella  ☢FAYZ☢ Chen
Read this in grade 5...all I remembered was I really liked the title. Unfortunately, that is abut the only thing I liked about this book.
Ms. Foley
Definitely a character driven story with some crazy quirky characters in it!
Primrose's parents are missing and presumed dead at sea and she bounces from caretaker to caretaker in this middle grade novel set in a small Canadian town.

The gem in this book is the restaurant that Primrose frequents called The Girl on the Red Swing which serves every dish they offer on a bed of waffles. Chapters open with recipes that Primrose is learning to make and invite readers to join in by making them too.

I listened to the audiobook version of this story. It was good, though I wasn't b...more
Feb 06, 2008 Anne rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 11-13
Recommended to Anne by: My Sister Clare
Its a grueling story of hardships, love, and family.
I like this book and I think it has a good message.
Liz Sutton
Pretty good so far!
There were things about Polly Horvath's Everything On a Waffle that I liked. I liked the heroine, Primrose Squarp. I liked how unique she was. She had a unique way of seeing the world around her, a unique perspective on just about everyone in town. The novel opens with tragedy, what most people would call tragedy. Primrose loses her mom and dad to a storm. Her dad was out sailing, her mom saw how horrible the storm was, got worried and left in another boat to go find him. Every single person in...more
I listened to this book in my car and I ended up liking it a lot. I recently read The Trolls, which is another Polly Horvath book and I enjoyed that one so I thought I would try another. This story is much more straightforward.

Really a huge part of this book is sad! Losing digits, bullies, family deaths, fires, all seem to plague this book. The main character Primrose seems to keep a positive attitude and find humor and happiness around her but that doesn't change the sometimes horrific circumst...more
With a name like Primrose Squarp, you pretty much know it ain't gonna be boring! Fun fun fun. This book made me happy---the characters were so lovable and easy to picture in my mind. I especially loved Yvie!!! It made me wish they were actually real live people, but then, they probably ARE somewhere out there in this world! This was made about 9 years ago--before a bunch of other 'recipes incorporated into the storyline books' and the young girl telling the story gives a recipe at the end of eve...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Weird? 2 18 May 07, 2014 07:16AM  
Foster Care 3 19 May 07, 2014 07:15AM  
  • The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
  • Carver: A Life in Poems
  • Volcano: The Eruption and Healing of Mount St. Helens
  • Getting Near to Baby
  • Sugaring Time
  • Joey Pigza Loses Control (Joey Pigza, #2)
  • What Hearts
  • The Fledgling (Hall Family Chronicles #4)
  • Yolonda's Genius
  • Figgs & Phantoms
  • The Secret River
  • Whittington
  • After the Rain
  • Tree of Freedom
  • Show Way
  • Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun
  • A Fine White Dust
  • The Golden Name Day
Polly Horvath is the author of many books for young people, including Everything on a Waffle, The Pepins and Their Problems, The Canning Season and The Trolls. Her numerous awards include the Newbery Honor, the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, the Vicky Metcalf Award for Children's Literature, the Mr. Christie Award, the international White Raven...more
More about Polly Horvath...
My One Hundred Adventures (My One Hundred Adventures #1) Mr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire! (The Bunny's #1) The Canning Season The Trolls One Year in Coal Harbor (Coal Harbour #2)

Share This Book

“I want someone who puts the whole ball of wax at risk. I want the kind of marriage where we would follow each other out into the stormy fatal sea or I'm not marrying at all.” 11 likes
“There's something about sports. You can be setting fire to cats and burying them in your backyard, but as long as you're playing team sports, people think you're okay.” 10 likes
More quotes…