Mrs. Noodlekugel

( 2 )

Overview

With signature wit and whimsy, the inimitable Daniel Pinkwater introduces an eccentric, endearing babysitter every child will wish they could have.

Nick and Maxine live in a tall building with one apartment on top of another. So when they look out their window and see a little house they never knew was there, of course they must visit (especially when their parents tell them not to!). Going through the boiler room, they’re amazed to find to a secret backyard with a garden, a ...

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Mrs. Noodlekugel

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Overview

With signature wit and whimsy, the inimitable Daniel Pinkwater introduces an eccentric, endearing babysitter every child will wish they could have.

Nick and Maxine live in a tall building with one apartment on top of another. So when they look out their window and see a little house they never knew was there, of course they must visit (especially when their parents tell them not to!). Going through the boiler room, they’re amazed to find to a secret backyard with a garden, a porch, and a statue of a cat. And they’re even more amazed when that cat starts to talk. . . . Welcome to the world of Mrs. Noodlekugel, where felines converse and serve cookies and tea, vision-impaired mice join the party (but may put crumbs up their noses), and children in search of funny adventures are drawn by the warm smell of gingerbread and the promise of magical surprises.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Not long after siblings Nick and Maxine move into a new high-rise home, they discover that right behind their building, surrounded by skyscrapers, is a tiny, incongruously idyllic cottage. With help from Mike the janitor (who “sat in a little room in the basement, eating stewed tomatoes out of a can, talking to himself, and listening to the radio”), they make their way to the cottage. Mrs. Noodlekugel is grandmotherliness personified, with white hair, a dotted apron, a Mrs. Claus face, and a penchant for baking gingerbread. What’s more, she’s at least a little magical, having trained her cat, Mr. Fuzzface, to talk and some farsighted mice to help out in the kitchen. Stower’s (Snowball Fight!) illustrations have an old-fashioned sweetness, while Pinkwater, ever the effortless storyteller, adds just enough bite with his signature deadpan, loopy humor. Much like Grace Lin in Ling & Ting, Pinkwater works narrative magic within the grammatical confines of the early reader format—readers should find Mrs. Noodlekugel’s world delightful and instantly familiar, and look forward to future installments. Ages 5–10. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Arena Illustration. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Melissa Rife
Shortly after moving into a new apartment building in the city, Nick and Maxine discover a small house tucked away between the skyscrapers. Against their parents' wishes, the two sneak out through the basement and into the yard and go to the old-fashioned house. As they approach the front porch, they are shocked to find a talking cat, Mr. Fuzzface, who introduces them to his owner, Mrs. Noodlekugel. Not only does Mr. Fuzzface talk; he also bakes, dances, and serves tea. Also living in the house are four mice that scamper about and help to bake the cookies. Mrs. Noodlekugel invites them to return the next day to bake gingerbread cookies and Nick and Maxine are shocked when their parents give the okay. In fact, they tell the children that Mrs. Noodlekugel is going to be their new babysitter. Upon returning the next day, the children have a baking adventure with their babysitter, her cat, and the four scampering mice that is different from any baking experience they have ever had. Pinkwater has created a cute story here, albeit very simple. The vocabulary is also very simple and easy enough for an intermediate reader to follow. It is an excellent step between early readers and full chapter books. Stower intersperses funny black-and-white drawings within the story that help carry the reader through. An advertisement in the back also indicates that this is the beginning book in a series about Mrs. Noodlekugel. Reviewer: Melissa Rife
Kirkus Reviews
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle meets Mary Poppins. Pinkwater is renowned for peculiar premises, and here he delivers again. Peering through a window and spotting a small house far below their new apartment, curious Nick and Maxine make their way down to the boiler room and out the rear exit. Waiting to welcome them at the end of a tidy garden is Mrs. Noodlekugel--a matronly sort with a distinctly Piggle-Wiggle–ish look in Stower's loosely drawn illustration--who invites them in for apple cookies and tea. Joined by a multitalented talking cat named Mr. Fuzzface (who later takes a brief turn at the piano) and four not exactly blind but very farsighted mice, the children have a splendid time. After learning from their parents that Mrs. Noodlekugel will be their new babysitter, Nick and Maxine return the next day to make "gingermice" cookies that get up and dance before running outside to, their chaperone casually suggests, probably be eaten by crows. Written in mannered prose (free of contractions, except for the children's dialogue), printed in generously sized type and liberally strewn with vignettes and larger illustrations, this ends abruptly and reads overall like the opening chapter of an episodic tale for newly fledged readers. Good news, if so. It is, to quote the children's reaction to the gingermice, "extremely entertaining--and weird." (Fantasy. 8-10)
From the Publisher
Stower’s illustrations have an old-fashioned sweetness, while Pinkwater, ever the effortless storyteller, adds just enough bite with his signature deadpan, loopy humor... Pinkwater works narrative magic within the grammatical confines of the early reader format—readers should find Mrs. Noodlekugel’s world delightful and instantly familiar, and look forward to future installments.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Daniel Pinkwater does not deal in pathos but in nutty good humor, and he has pitched the gently zany tale of MRS. NOODLEKUGEL at 5- to-7-year-olds who are just getting confident with chapter books... With occasionally tricky vocabulary, such as "ventriloquist" and "sanitary," this is just the sort of book to make a young reader feel adept.
—The Wall Street Journal

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle meets Mary Poppins.
—Kirkus Reviews

In novels and picture books we’ve seen Pinkwater in a variety of modes—absurd, satirical, anarchic, deadpan, funny-melancholy. In this offering, an early chapter book, we see yet another color in his palette: cozy... Stower’s pencil drawings perfectly echo the joyous insouciance of this benign—if surreal—backyard world.
—The Horn Book

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—From the inimitable Pinkwater comes this weird and wonderful tale of Maxine, Nick, and Mrs. Noodlekugel. Living in a high-rise, the children discover a mysterious cottage behind their building. Curious, they find out from the janitor that a "nice old lady" lives there. And although their parents caution otherwise, the youngsters decide to visit her, thinking that she might be lonely. They are greeted by Mr. Fuzzface, a "very capable cat" that can talk, dance, and play the piano. Mrs. Noodlekugel welcomes Maxine and Nick into her home and tea is served—by Mr. Fuzzface, of course. They are also introduced to a group of "prize-winning mice" who are "farsighted" but love tea parties. When the children return home, they proudly inform their parents that the elderly woman is neither a witch nor a child-hater, and their parents reveal that Mrs. Noodlekugel is, in fact, their new babysitter. Told in 10 short chapters, this funny book has a good-size font and plenty of whimsical illustrations. It would be a good choice for children who have enjoyed Pinkwater's previous works, and the likes of Roald Dahl.—Alison Donnelly, Collinsville Memorial Public Library, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763650537
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 4/24/2012
  • Series: Mrs. Noodlekugel Series
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 645,038
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Pinkwater is the wildly popular author of many books for children, including The Hoboken Chicken Emergency, The Big Orange Splot, and the Larry series, illustrated by his wife, Jill Pinkwater. He is well known as the co-host with anchor Scott Simon of a segment on NPR’s Weekend Edition that focuses on children’s books. Daniel Pinkwater lives in Hyde Park, New York.

Adam Stower is the illustrator of a number of books for children, including Bottoms Up! and Sing a Song of Bottoms!, both by Jeanne Willis. He lives in Brighton, England.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Delightful, whimsical read for young readers

    It's time to get a little bit silly, adventurous, whimsical, and down-right fun loving. Yes! It's time to explore Mrs. Noodlekuger by Daniel Pinkwater. Now as you can see from the cover image, Mrs. Noodlekuger is a delightfully cheerful little old lady. Well, Nick and Maxine (our children in this delightful story) have discovered a tiny little house situated at the rear of the tall apartment building - in fact surrounded by tall buildings - in which they now live. Their curiosity gets the best of them and they begin their investigation. This little book is just right for the young reader and the story line will capture their imagination. The illustrations by Adam Stower are first class and will indeed keep the young reader engrossed. Kid appeal is high in this little book. Classic kid-book-illustrations and a silly, bizarre story line make this a first-rate book that I highly recommend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2013

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