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The Dancing Pancake

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Written by Eileen SpinelliAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by Joanne Lew-VriethoffAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff


List Price: $6.99


On Sale: May 11, 2010
Pages: 256 | ISBN: 978-0-375-89713-9
Published by : Knopf Books for Young Readers RH Childrens Books
The Dancing Pancake Cover

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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 ever feel normal? Among the unlikely bunch of regulars who form a makeshift community at the diner, Bindi will try to figure out how to be a new version of herself, one pancake and one silly elephant joke (her uncle's specialty) at a time.
With plenty of surprises, milk shakes, fake spiders, and real feelings, readers are sure to flip for the sweet mix of humor and heart in The Dancing Pancake.

From the Hardcover edition.


I am on the front lawn making snow angels with Albert Poole.  

This is what I like about Albert: He's not afraid to do "girly" things. He'll bake cookies as quick as toss a football.  

He'll tend the African violets in his grandmother's front window as tenderly as a mama cat tends her kittens.  

He likes to shop!  

What I don't like about Albert is this: He talks about bugs all the time. All. The. Time. He can tell you anything you want to know about horseflies or houseflies or dung beetles or cockroaches.  

And me--? I can tell you most anything you want to know about Albert Poole or classic books or the film The Wizard of Oz.  

My dad is outside, too. He is dumping two suitcases into the trunk of his car.  

I sort of hear him backing out of our driveway and driving off, but I'm not watching. Why should I? Albert Poole and I have snow angels to make, and besides, my father is simply driving to a different city to find a new job. That's all.   That's what he said.  

That's what Mom said.  

That's what they both said.  

C'mon, Albert! You have to flap your legs and arms at the same time.      

From the Hardcover edition.
Eileen Spinelli

About Eileen Spinelli

Eileen Spinelli - The Dancing Pancake
I, Jerry Spinelli, am writing this myself without help from my wife and fellow author, Eileen, because I need to do some bragging about her. It was her idea that led to our first book together: Today I Will. She remembered reading daily devotionals, and it occurred to her that young readers might like a day-by-day book based on literature.
  There's a page in Today I Will for every day in the year—that’s 366 pages/days, including leap year. Each page starts with a quote from children's or young adult literature. Then comes a commentary on the quote, followed by a resolution—that is, how you can apply the message to your day. The idea is that you take a minute to read the day's page when you get up in the morning. It helps to give your day a little direction.
 Today I Will is just the latest in a long parade of ideas that Eileen has blessed me with. The sequel to StargirlLove, Stargirl—is one. The Stargirl Journal is another.  
  Speaking of Stargirl, I guess you could say she gave me the idea for that one too, even though she never realized it. Listening to her talk about her childhood over the years, and getting to know this special person I happen to be married to, I found myself using Eileen again and again as my model as I developed the character of Susan Caraway, who names herself Stargirl. Two examples: Stargirl keeps notes on other people, so she knows when their birthdays are, what they like to eat, etc; and Stargirl has a “happy wagon.” I lifted both of these features from Eileen’s personal history.
  She does more than supply me with ideas. She’s my first reader and editor. When I finish a chapter, I put it on her desk. (We each have an office in our house.) She tells me if it’s good (I go, “Yes!”) or not (I re-write). I do the same for her. It works so well for us, I sometimes wonder how any author can manage without a writing spouse.
  Sometimes we get asked: “Do you compete with each other?” The question always surprises us. The fact is, we are each other’s biggest cheerleader. If Eileen writes a bestseller, I’m probably happier about it than she is. There are no losers in our house.
  People who know we have seventeen grandchildren (at last count) often want to know if we get ideas from them. The answer is: Yes, we do. But there are many more sources to get stories from. We get story ideas from each other and from reading the newspaper and from memories of our own kidhoods and just from ordinary everyday life.  
  With all this writing stuff going on in our House of Two Authors, you might wonder that it took us this long to write a book together. Actually, we did try it once before, years ago. It was a story about ideas in the form of cute, furry little creatures running around the house. That story was one idea we could have done without. It flopped.

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