I love Eileen Spinelli's picture books, but had never read anything longer by this author- amazing since she has written nearly fifty children's books. The Dancing Pancake is written in verse, making it a fast read. Bindi is encountering several challenges in her life. Her father has lost his job and is moving to another town in order to find one. This makes Bindi nervous, worried that her father is leaving them and will not return, even if he does find a job. This means Bindi's mom can no longer afford their house, and the two must move into an apartment above the restaurant Bindi's mom and aunt are opening- The Dancing Pancake. Luckily Bindi has some good friends that are there to help her out. She also enjoys reading and working as a library aide at school. Bindi takes her Sunday School lessons to heart, trying to put to practice what she is learning at church. Life isn't easy, but Bindi finds a way to deal with the things that are thrown her way - her parents separation, the homeless woman named Grace who visits the restaurant, and even begins to notice that other people have problems, too.
This book reminded me a lot of they Lucy Rose books by Katy Kelly (except a lot faster). Bindi is a girl that readers will be able to identify with. While writing a novel would be challenging enough, I am always amazed by writers who are able to convey an entire story using words so sparingly. A great novel for readers wanting a chapter book, but not wanting to be overwhelmed with the length of time it takes to read one.