Eileen Spinelli‘s The Dancing Pancake is a nice, easy read for summer. Formatted in verse, it doesn’t feel as much like poetry as it does clean, spare prose. The clever title shows up in more ways than one, and the main character’s group of friends grows and grows, including an old man who thinks he’s a doctor and a homeless woman who prefers her home outside to indoor apartments.
Although Bindi, the main character, is eleven years old, I’d recommend this book for the younger middle grader set such as those reading Just Grace and Clementine, as well as older readers. Bindi’s unusually wise friends open her eyes to living with giving and how to make it through the changes when parents leave.