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Adventures with Waffles is a Norwegian tale by a Norwegian author, all about two children who live next door to each other: Trille and Lena. They are nine years old, and get into all kinds of mischief together, because they are best friends -- or at least, Lena is Trille's best friend, but he often wonders whether or not she is his. Lena is the loud one with crazy ideas, while Trille is more subdued, but he follows through on some craziness of his own.
One of the topics in the story, aside from general mischief and close shaves, is the fact that Lena has no dad, and wants to figure out a way to get one. Another topic is death: Trille's "Auntie Granny" dies, and he struggles with his feelings of missing her. There are a couple very sensitive scenes where he talks about this feelings with trusted adults, and I really liked how he was free to express such things -- especially the scene were his father plays him a new song he wrote called "Sad Son, Sad Dad."
As over-the-top as the adventures sometimes are (though nothing too absurd), it's the realistic relationships and caring family that is really at the heart of this book. As an aside, the way the characters are silhouetted on the cover and on the beginning page of each chapter reminds me a little bit of the illustrations in the Bobbsey Twins books. Though there are no larger illustrations in the book, the chapters are fairly short, making it a good read-aloud for early-elementary-aged children.
Author: Maria Parr
Content Advisory: A death happens in this story (of Trille's "Auntie Granny," but it is handled sensitively.