Adventures with Waffles was the Book of the Month for November on the Goodreads Great Middle Grade Reads group. I suspect it’s only the second BOTM that I’ve managed to read in the right month this year, and possibly at all. So many of the picks are just not in my library system in the UK, and when they are, I’m picky about whether I really want to read them. With so many books on my TBR, why add ones I don’t want to read?
Adventures with Waffles (UK: Waffle Hearts)
By Maria Parr
UK Translation by Guy Puzey
Lena is Trille’s best friend, even if she is a girl. And there is never an ordinary day when you’ve got a best friend like Lena. Hardly a day passes without Trille and Lena inventing some kind of adventure that often ends in trouble. Whether it’s coaxing a cow onto a boat or sledding down the steepest and iciest hill with a chicken, there is always a thrill–and sometimes an injury–to be had. Trille loves to share everything with Lena, even Auntie Granny’s waffles. But when Lena has to move away and Auntie Granny leaves the world, it sometimes seems like nothing will ever be right again. The warmth of friendship and the support of family suffuse this lightly illustrated novel, proving that when times are tough, a little taste of sweetness can make all the difference.
I brought it home from the library, and sat down to read a little of it.
Other than to make tea, I couldn’t put it down! I absolutely adored it. Such a refreshing change to have a small town where everybody knows each other, yet the kids still get up to tricks that, frankly, would make me laugh even if I was a parent there. It seems to belong to an earlier era, but I suspect that in a Norwegian fjord village, this is probably still a life they recognise. Maybe with more television.
There is real heartache from Trille on many occasions, and even Lena is not as immune as she makes out. Beautifully built characters.
I thought the translation was very good (by Guy Puzey), but I’m interested to hear whether the US version has a different translator, as some of the idioms in the first couple of chapters (e.g.popping one’s clogs) maybe need a different translation, not just a different title 🙂
Beautifully written, and as fresh as the Norwegian air.Book Review | Waffle Hearts / Adventures with Waffles by Maria Parr, translation by Guy Puzey. 'Beautifully written, and as fresh as the Norwegian air. ' 5 stars #middlegrade #Norway Click To Tweet
The only other really nice feel-good book I’ve read this year was What You Can See From Here. I wonder if it’s the European country village perspective that does it?