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WAFFLE by Chris Raschka


by Chris Raschka & illustrated by Chris Raschka

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-689-83838-7
Publisher: Richard Jackson/Atheneum

Raschka’s work can be difficult to grasp (at least by adults)—sometimes his elliptical writing style and calligraphic art leaves gaps that are hard to leap across, and it takes children to show the way. But this effort will zoom straight into the souls of young and old. For you see, Waffle worried. And wiggled. And wondered. “Waffle waffled. He felt awful.” Then in two pages full of typographic “waffles” that break apart and re-form themselves into a different word—he flew. And though he is still anxious, “Waffle flew.” This allegory of inner growth is illustrated by a very abstract little boy, with checkered pants, a pink streak of a face, and deeply expressive facial features rendered by a few dots and lines. The audience to his waffles and worries is a constellation of multicolored round faces that seem to be laughing at Waffle or maybe just enjoying themselves, as they jostle each other and outline various formations. But when Waffle flies, their grins turn to astonishment. And Waffle knows he’s “worked a wonder (within).” For children who might find Wemberly Worried (2000) too straightforward by half, this gentle allegory could be just the ticket. (Picture book. 4-8)