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SOMETHING TO READ

“Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace” by Nan Marino; Roaring Book Press, $16.99.

Cecilia Wreel lives in Wares Grove, N.J., a tiny place in the Pinelands of New Jersey where everyone knows everyone else. Cecilia can’t carry a tune or keep a secret, but she’s been searching all her life for a special song that played in the pines the night she was born. Then kid superstar 11-year-old Elvis Ruby, the violin-playing, singing boy who was supposed to win the TweenStar competition on television until he froze up and couldn’t perform, comes to town to hide with a family friend who runs the Piney Pete’s Pancake Palace. Cecilia knows his secret, and she won’t tell anyone. Or will she? This entertaining book offers a vivid backdrop of the Pinelands, a small town full of colorful characters and lots of people eating what sound like very delicious pancakes (reds have cranberries, and blues have blueberries).

– Jean Westmoore

SOMETHING TO DO

Saturday is Smithsonian Museum Day from noon to 4 p.m. at the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, 180 Thompson St., North Tonawanda. Visit www.smithsonian.com/museumday to download a free admission card. Each card will provide access for two people (limit one card per household).

SOMETHING TO LEARN

Most mirrors are made from glass and thin layers of aluminum or silver. You can see your reflection because light energy hits the smooth surface of a mirror and reflects back to you like a rubber ball bouncing off a wall. If the mirror is bumpy, light will bounce all over the place, and you won’t be able to see your reflection as clearly.

– Time Big Book of Why