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The Dancing Pancake

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  554 ratings  ·  129 reviews
The grand opening of the Dancing Pancake isn't the only new thing in Bindi's life: new friends, a new apartment, maybe even a cute new crush? But there are other changes, like her dad's move to a new city, that have left Bindi confused and wondering: What will happen to my family? Will this new life e
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published May 11th 2010 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2010)
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  554 ratings  ·  129 reviews

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Jun 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-fiction, poetry
There's something about Eileen Spinelli's writing that I just love. I can't put my finger on what exactly the quality is, just...something. She has a way of writing quiet little stories that have heart and hope. Her book Where I Live ranks among my top 10 favorites of all-time for kids, and now she has The Dancing Pancake, in the same vein. It's just a lovely little piece of work.

Bindi's life is in an upheaval right now. Her dad has moved out, and now she and her mom and moving from their home t
May 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
Bindi is facing a lot of changes in her life. First, her father has left their family to find a job in another city. A few months later, she learns that her parents have separated. Now her mother and her aunt are starting a restaurant called The Dancing Pancake. They will be moving into the apartment above the restaurant and out of their house. As all of these changes hit, Bindi finds herself feeling sad and angry about them. People at the restaurant and her extended family help her deal with he ...more
Sarah Sammis
Apr 19, 2011 rated it liked it
The Dancing Pancake by Eileen Spinelli is a novel told in verse about eleven year old Bindi trying to cope with her life being turned upside down. Her parents are separated and she and her mother are moving into an apartment over a restaurant which her mother is running the restaurant with a family friend.

While I enjoyed the free verse style of story telling, the plot seemed rather derivative. There seems to be a glut of stories about single parents (usually mothers) running catering companies (
Jul 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010, poetry, middle-grade

Lately I have really been enjoying novels in verse, but this one just didn't do it for me. Yes there were funny moments, touching and moving moments but what drove me crazy was the notion that kids are too young to understand grown up stuff.

Bindi's life is in an upheaval. Her Dad left and her and her Mom are moving into an apartment above the Dancing Pancake, the diner that her Aunt and Mom are opening. Bindi has to learn to deal with her parents separation and new surroundings. In this pro
Tsia Gibson
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Note to self: reread!!!
Melissa Goembel
The dancing pancake is based on Bini and her family’s difficulties and her reactions to them. Her dad has moved out and she is living with mom. This book is very free flowing and focuses more like journal entries. It is fast paced read because of the structure. I really enjoyed this book because you really get to know Bindi and get an insight into her life. The good, bad and ugly from a child’s perspective. All in all the circumstances of her life enabled her to have a broader perspective.

The Library Lady
Aug 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
My 12 year old commented that she isn't really used to books written in free verse, but that she really liked this one.

It's less verse more than it is broken down into short sections rather than chapters and they read well. Bindi is a believable girl. Her anger at her parents' separation, at the way her life is turned upside down by leaving her home to move into an apartment above her mother and aunt's new restaurant, her confusions over her feelings, are all very real. The minor characters are
Apr 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
This story got me with the dust jacket description of a comfortable, idyllic cafe. It's told from the point of view of an 11 year-old girl and is written in unrhyming poetry form. I can't decide if reading such sweet books as this helps me or harms me -- is it healing to read this story of parents separating, since it's still so happy and cozy? Or is it harmful because it's so happy and cozy? Or is it just dumb for a 45 year-old to relish such a sweet story? I'm full of doubts, which I will blam ...more
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Heartwarming story about family, friends, community and that when we care and look out for one another, all will turn out alright. Keep the tissue box nearby... This book was warmly recommended to me by two of my fifth graders - thank you girls! You were so sure that I would love this book and you were absolutely right!
Aug 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chapter-mg
I waffled back and forth between 3 and 4 stars on this one. I enjoyed it more than the average book, but it felt a little too similar to a bunch of other books I've read recently. I do think the free-verse format helped distinguish it a little, but I'm not sure if it was enough to be memorable in the long-run...
Jul 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Gawd I just freaking HATE when authors decide to write their books in verse. Whywhywhy???? It was quite a good story but got marks off for being IN VERSE.
Sep 23, 2012 added it
Cute. In poetry style. All is well that ends well. Bindi survives her parents and a move. she even dances in a pancake outfit to help the cafe.
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“In the Dancing Pancake,” Bindis mom is getting a divorce and then Bindi’s mom and her move into an apartment. Her mom needs a job and her aunt wants to own a restaurant. Will Bibi's new life work out and will her mom find a job or will her aunt's dream come true? Read the Dancing Pancake to find out. I would rate the Dancing Pancake 5 “stars”.The book The Dancing Pancake is a great book for kids 4th grade and up. I think this because 4th graders can really connect with this book. Also, it can r ...more
CL Wimmer
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it

I loved this book! At first it was hard to get into because it is in prose. It looks like a poem, but it doesn’t necessarily rhyme. I hadn’t read a book like this for a long time. The other books I have read have been collections of poems, but this one actually tells a story and I thought it was nice. It's about growing up and making things work, even though it is different than you thought it would be. Bindi's mom and her aunt start a restaurant (and Bindi and her mother live above it). The res
Lynn  Davidson
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Bindi's parents are having problems and Bindi's life gets dramatically changed. Her mother helps her sister-in-law set up and manage a new breakfast restaurant while angry Bindi tries to makes sense of her new life situation. Bindi finds that caring about and helping other people makes her life better and also helps her to feel better.
I like how this mg novel is written, short chapters and easy dialogue that makes the characters easy to care about.
Mary Thomas
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyable to read. I liked that there were Christian themes without being overtly preachy, and I liked that the characters were admirable (unlike some that I have to explain to my son, "But we don't talk like that"). I'm exploring more novels in verse, and this one was great!
Amy Michael
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fun book about a young girl who battles with her parents separation, a new home, and a world where not everything is fair.
Jun 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: paw
Used this for Book Club for Kids at my library. Most kids liked it. One didn't because it was too sad. One girl related a lot to Bindi and really connected with her story.
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
very good children's book that deals with divorce
The Dancing Pancake is the restaurant Bindi's mother and aunt open after her parents separate and her father has left the house. It requires Bindi and her mother to move into the apartment above the new restaurant; the restaurant, however, is still in their town so it doesn't require Bindi to change schools or move away from any of her friends.

Written in Spinelli's trademark free verse, there are some great characters in The Dancing Pancake: Bindi's friend Albert who is obsessed with bugs, Grace
Katie Fitzgerald
The Dancing Pancake is a 2010 novel in verse by Eileen Spinelli. I grabbed it from the gigantic piles of new books that were ordered when my new library branch opened, for two reasons. One: I really like novels in verse. As I mentioned in my review of Pearl Verses the World a couple of weeks ago, poetry gives authors more freedom to convey important or difficult emotions than does prose. They're also a lot easier and quicker to read, and I can usually finish one within a couple of hours. Two: Wh ...more
Crete Public Library District
Feb 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
eBook Review by Kelly (Administration)

This book is NOT about a dancing pancake. That is what I thought when I checked out the eBook via the Media Mall. The name "dancing pancake" refers to a restaurant, instead of ballet-inclined breakfast. Which, I admit, was a little bit of a let down. What it IS about is a young girl dealing with her parents' separation. The rest of the story was so well done, that I didn't miss it after the first chapter.

With gentle humor, sensitivity, and realism, the autho
The title sounded cute, but the idea of poetry had me putting this one off for a while. Glancing through, it looked like almost 200 pages of short poems. Gah! I didn't want that. But it was due the next day, so I finally plunged into it. Completely different from what I thought. It's a novel in free verse. (How did that end up in the Poetry nominees and not the Children's Fiction when the free verse YA novel ended up in YA Fiction and not Poetry? Oh well.)

I thought Bindi was a charming characte
Molly (Conan the Librarian) Crumbley
Eileen Spinelli is at it again with a poignant and charming new tale! Written in gentle verse, The Dancing Pancake is told from the point of view of spunky Bindi, only child and reader extraordinaire. Her comfy normal life is quickly turned askew when her parents separate and her mother moves them into a small apartment building above the restaurant that she and Bindi’s aunt have just purchased together.

Bindi soon learns that life above The Dancing Pancake can be filled with joy, however much s
Jul 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
So who wouldn't want to pick up a book with a title like this one?
Someone who didn't like novels in verse, I guess.

Still, I'm not one of those people. So I liked it--and what's not to like about just about anything the Spinellis do?

Bindi's best friend is named Albert. He knows bugs.
"'Okay,' he says, 'So, did you know
a cockroach can live for nine days
without its head?'
I'd like to live without my head
right now."
(30)(She's upset because her parents are going through a separation.)

She makes f
Bridget R. Wilson
Bindi's life is changing and not for the better if you ask her. Her dad has left. She thought to look for work, but no. Bindi's mom finally admits they have separated. Aunt Darnell loses her job and wants to open her own restaurant. The Dancing Pancake becomes a reality, but Bindi isn't sure if she likes this new direction her life is taking.

What I thought: I loved it! The Dancing Pancake touched on some many pertinent issues for today's kids without being depressing or sad. This is the type of
This is a really good book. I'm not sure what to say because I don't want to include a spoiler of any kind. I read the first two pages at reading group and had to take it home. I finished in the next morning. Many children 8-12 will be able to relate to at least some part of this book. Mostly girls since the main character is a girl, but some boys would be able to read it too as the best friend is a boy who loved bugs. This is a tender story and oh so relevant to so much of today's society.

I am
Candi Criddle
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
This book is just so lovely and succinct. It's a little younger than I usually enjoy, but I picked it up for my second grader and became enthralled. The voice of the main character, a 10 year old girl is so real and the sketch drawings are perfect. The book covers some serious things without being serious and sad things without being sad. It's just my favorite thing when I come across unexpected wonder in a novel. This is why I read. And it's written in free verse, like this:

Later Albert and I w
Oct 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Bindi is struggling with life. Her parents are separated for reasons she doesn't understand. She is good friends with a couple girls and a boy, but the dynamics of the friendships seem to be undergoing a change. Her mother join her aunt and uncle in opening a cafe called The Dancing Pancake. All of these things together require her to move out of the house she has always known into an apartment over the restaurant. As she comes to terms with all the changes surrounding her, Bindi grows up and re ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Bindi Winkler thinks her life is great until her parents separate, she and her mom move out of their house and into an apartment, and open a restaurant called The Dancing Pancake. The gist of this novel in verse is that some things are just out of your control, and you have to go with the flow and adjust. Everyone has problems, so don't get lost in your own and forget about those of your friends and family. Also, you need to forgive. Great messages. I liked the interesting characters, especially ...more
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Eileen Spinelli, wife of famed children's author Jerry Spinelli, is an award winning children's book author from southeastern Pennsylvania.
“If the peace lily stops flowering, just be patient. It will bloom again.” 0 likes
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