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Everything on a Waffle (Coal Harbour #1)

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  9,396 Ratings  ·  790 Reviews
Primrose Squarp simply knows her parents did not perish at sea during a terrible storm, but try convincing the other residents of Coal Harbour on that score. For all practical purposes, at least for the time being, Primrose is an orphan, and there's no great clamoring of prospective adopters. After realizing the impracticality of continuing to pay Miss Perfidy (a mothball- ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 15th 2008 by Square Fish (first published April 1st 2001)
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Dec 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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...
May 02, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
Jul 19, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
This was mildly entertaining but I honestly probably wouldn't have continued if I hadn't been listening to the audiobook. It felt like one of those award winning kids books that isn't really written *for* kids. And I don't know, maybe this is because I'm not an only child, but I just thought this book where a school age kid doesn't know anyone except adults was kinda weird. Maybe only children would identify with that?
Another audio I'll come back to when I have more time to listen! For now, I have to listen to one for an assignment, and this one just isn't keeping my attention for that.
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun book - enjoyed the waffle recipe - we topped ours with fruit and whipped cream. Yum!
Feb 28, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Madison Z
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book shows how a bad situation can turn into a good one.
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
Dec 23, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this with my 9-yr old daughter for her Girl Scouts Book Club. I'm glad I read it with her b/c I felt like while the story was good and well-written (and deserving a 3) I had to take off points b/c I did not feel like was appropriate for a 4th grader. While the story is told by a child of about the same age (11), I feel like the writing is way over a 9yr old's head. There are many points where the author changes from the present to the past and the transitions are hard for a kid to follow. ...more
Mar 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kristine Hansen
This is one of those books I really wanted to like, but felt like too many other books out there. The recipe with each chapter thing has been done (though some of these recipes sound really fun and I wouldn't mind them). But I felt somewhat disassociated from the main character and everyone else in this town. Here we have the only sensible voice being that of the 11 year old child, in a town full of quirky characters.

So much potential, and some truly beautiful turns of phrases keep this book fr
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
Feb 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Primrose Squarp is a girl who lives by the harbour. One day a terrible storm omes where she lives, her father was out in the sea and haven't came back. Her mother got worried and brang Primrose to her neighbours house Miss Perfidy and Primrose mom went out to seas to find her father.

After the storm her parents did not come back. Now she became an orphan and Primrose thinks that her parents didn't perish at the sea but thinks that her parents is going to get her. There's no great clamoring of pr
Huh, another book about a girl who moves to a village of mentally distressed people. I didn't think this was such a common sort of event, but I'm sure I just don't notice these things when I'm so busy with paint business. (It all happened behind my back as usual). Someone needs to do something about all these people getting lost at sea too, for the record! It's awfully tragic if little girls commonly have to go around without families because they're shipwrecked somewhere or lost in the water. S ...more
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kidlit
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!
the set-up of this book would make you think it is dark and depressing, but it's actually pretty hilarious. Primroses's parents have gone to sea and not come back, but she doesn't believe that they are dead. As she makes her way in the world (that is to say, in her small Northwest town) she deals with the characters that are her friends and neighbors AND finds emotional refuge in the town's diner where they serve EVERYTHING ON A WAFFLE. A quick and enjoyable read -- pure fun!
Mar 16, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funnybooks
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.
Jul 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was able to acquire this book because it only cost 20 pesos at some book sale. And though it may be a children's book, I still enjoyed reading it. Being a spectator of Primrose's boldness, stubbornness, wit and clumsiness was quite entertaining. All in all, it was a great light read.
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.
I read this with my 8 year-old daughter and we really liked it. For me, the audio version is great for a kids book because it helps me to have the different voices and shows the personalities better, but I make sure to do the print version as well. It was cute and I loved the optimism.
Ms. Foley
Definitely a character driven story with some crazy quirky characters in it!
Liz Sutton
Apr 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good so far!
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #202 - Everything on a Waffle 1 2 Jan 04, 2018 05:54AM  
Bookwarts Club of...: January 2017 Recipe + Discussion - Spoilers 14 20 Jan 29, 2017 04:59AM  
Weird? 2 22 May 07, 2014 07:16AM  
Foster Care 3 23 May 07, 2014 07:15AM  
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Coal Harbour (2 books)
  • One Year in Coal Harbor (Coal Harbour #2)
“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.” 14 likes
“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.” 13 likes
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