Everything on a Waffle

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Everything on a Waffle
Everything on a Waffle cover.jpg
First edition book cover
Author Polly Horvath
Cover artist Gina Freschet
Country United States
Language English
Genre Children's novel
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date
April 4, 2001
Media type Hardcover and Paperback
Audio CD and cassette
Pages 150 pp
ISBN 0-374-32236-8
OCLC 43845530
LC Class PZ7.H79224 Ev 2001

Everything on a Waffle is a 2001 bestselling children's novel, written by Polly Horvath and published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The book was critically acclaimed[1] and won a variety of awards,[2] including the 2002 Newbery Honor.[3] A sequel, One Year in Coal Harbour, was published in 2012.

Plot summary[edit]

Everything on a Waffle, set in a small Canadian fishing village, tells the story of an eleven-year-old girl named Primrose Squarp. Primrose's parents disappear in a typhoon, but Primrose refuses to believe they are dead and doesn't attend their memorial service.[4]

While she defends her family's survival, her custody situation moves around from aging neighbor Miss Perfidy to her preoccupied Uncle Jack. The only thing that remains constant is her enjoyment of a restaurant called the Girl on the Red Swing, where each menu item is served on a waffle. Restaurant owner Kate Bowzer takes Primrose under her wing. She teaches her how to cook (recipes are all cited in a notepad). She doesn't question or criticize her, even through her odd predicaments, such as accidentally setting the class guinea pig on fire.

Primrose is taken from the custody of her uncle Jack after a series of accidents, including losing a toe. As a foster kid, she is put into the home of an older couple, Evie and Bert. Although, they are all fond of each other, Primrose does not seem able to develop an attachment to them, likely because of her history of unstable living.

While in foster care, the mental state of Primrose's former guardian, Miss Perfidy, quickly deteriorates. While Primrose is visiting her in the hospital, Miss Perfidy dies, but Primrose does not exhibit much of a reaction.

Through her oddities and accidents, Primrose becomes a town curiosity, with neighbors questioning her emotional state. But even through all of this, Primrose never gives up hope in finding her parents and being a normal family again. Later on, her parents come back, which is a real shock to everyone in town.

Throughout her unstable life, Primrose remains rock solid in her belief that her parents will return. She gathers many stories from many people regarding times when they have "just known" something was true, even though they mightn't have had proof. This helps develop the main theme of this strange story: hope is not crazy.


  1. ^ "Everything on a Waffle". Barnesandnoble.com. Retrieved 2008-01-07. 
  2. ^ "Everything on a Waffle". Polly Horvath, Inc. Retrieved 2008-01-07. 
  3. ^ Lipson, Eden Ross. "Retold 'Three Pigs' Wins Top Children's Book Prize", The New York Times, January 22, 2002. Accessed January 13, 2008.
  4. ^ Margolies, Jane. "CHILDREN'S BOOKS", The New York Times, June 17, 2001. Accessed January 13, 2008.