Noodle & Lou
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Noodle & Lou

by Liz Garton Scanlon
     
 

Noodle and Lou are unlikely friends. One is a worm and one is a bird. When Noodle is having a bad day, Lou knows just what to say to cheer up his wormy friend and help him see what it means to be liked just the way you are.

Overview

Noodle and Lou are unlikely friends. One is a worm and one is a bird. When Noodle is having a bad day, Lou knows just what to say to cheer up his wormy friend and help him see what it means to be liked just the way you are.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Noodle the worm wakes up "with a rain-cloudy heart," and it's not until he gets a pep talk from his blue jay friend, Lou, that he gives "his sorry old slither/ a jaunty new strut." In sturdy yet none-too-formal couplets with an unfaltering rhythm and gentle humor, Scanlon (All the World) offers a point-by-point repudiation of each of Noodle's complaints. " ‘My head has no eyes,'/ Noodle said, feeling glum./ ‘So, life's a surprise!'/ Lou said to his chum." Smartly sidestepping the whole "no eyes" issue by depicting Noodle with a baseball cap slung low over his head, Howard (Mr. Putter and Tabby) adds several dashes of visual humor to the story (the worms live in the mud of "Wiggly Field," and assorted bugs and birds zip across the pages). His loose watercolors underscore the idea that—in a meadow this picturesque and with a pal like Lou—Noodle has it pretty good. While some sticklers may question why Lou considers Noodle a best bud, rather than an appetizer, they'll easily recognize the value of such a supportive relationship. Ages 2–6. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
"Odds are good that even the littlest listeners can recognize how much having a good buddy can improve a bad mood, but it seems likely that adults will pick this up for the message while kids will prefer to pore over the pictures. Chirpy, instructive and fun."—Kirkus Reviews

"The healing properties of friendship are on child-friendly display here...Every kid should have a friend like Lou, and Noodle and Lou’s story shows just how it can be done."—Booklist


"This is a feel-good book about looking on the bright side with a little help from a friend.... Told in rhyming couplets, the story of friend helping friend is illustrated in bright watercolors with each object surrounded by a thick black outline. The pictures are filled with humorous details, including worms with sunglasses, acorn-top hats, and earphones. Although Noodle laments having no eyes, beak, feet, etc., his mood is lifted, literally, by his special bond with Lou."

School Library Journal, May 2011

Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
Author Scanlon (All the World) and illustrator Howard (Mr. Putter & Tabby) team up in this celebration of friendship between the unlikely duo of a large bird and a small worm. When Noodle is having a bad day, he knows to turn to his pal Lou to put him back on track again. In rhyming text, poor Noodle offers his long list of self-criticisms, each one countered by a cheery reply chirped by kindly Lou. When Noodle wails that he doesn't have a beak, Lou reminds him that he is "long and so sleek;" when Noodle laments that he is "dirty and mucky," Lou insists that Noodle is "wiggly and plucky." Finally, Noodle accepts the gift of his friend's steadfast approbation: "So he lifted his chin,/crawled out of his rut,/gave his sorry old slither/a jaunt new strut." "Rain-cloudy" days can indeed turn brighter when you have the surprise of "seeing yourself through your best buddy's eyes." Scanlon's affirmative text is well-matched with Howard's watercolors, which succeed in making visible and plausible the affection between this mismatched, but ever-loving pair. It would be fun to see a sequel in which Noodle and Lou could reverse roles, giving Noodle the chance to play cheerleader for his feathered champion. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS—This is a feel-good book about looking on the bright side with a little help from a friend. Noodle, a little pink worm in a green baseball cap, is feeling down in the dumps. "His bright side was muddy. His high points sank low./The grass grew much greener in other worms' rows." To revive his sunny outlook, he calls on his good friend Lou, a blue jay. Lou doesn't let his friend's gloomy mood last long, countering every sad-sack statement of Noodle's perceived faults with a reason to celebrate life. Told in rhyming couplets, the story of friend helping friend is illustrated in bright watercolors with each object surrounded by a thick black outline. The pictures are filled with humorous details, including worms with sunglasses, acorn-top hats, and earphones. Although Noodle laments having no eyes, beak, feet, etc., his mood is lifted, literally, by his special bond with Lou.—Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews - Kikus Reviews

Odd couples abound in children's stories, but somehow the notion of a chirpy blue jay being friends with a (succulent, pink, wiggly) worm may be a hard one to, um, get off the ground. Those willing to suspend their disbelief, however, will enjoy this brisk, rhyming tale of solid support and relentless esteem-building. Noodle the worm, pictured in a baseball cap worn backward, wakes one morning feeling low. He knows where to turn, though, and calls out for Lou, who counters his every complaint with a cheery compliment. By the end, Noodle is feeling pretty darned good about himself—and even better about his best friend, who's managed to give him a new perspective and turn his day around. Howard's cartoon-style illustrations match the bouncy rhythm of Scanlon's couplets perfectly and keep the tone light. Lou has scratchy eyebrows and big feet and sports a sweet smile on his sharp beak. Noodle's squiggly body language manages to effectively convey his changing emotions, and a few big-eyed bugs in the background provide additional visual appeal. Odds are good that even the littlest listeners can recognize how much having a good buddy can improve a bad mood, but it seems likely that adults will pick this up for the message while kids will prefer to pore over the pictures. Chirpy, instructive and fun.(Picture book. 3-6)

Kirkus Reviews

Odd couples abound in children's stories, but somehow the notion of a chirpy blue jay being friends with a (succulent, pink, wiggly) worm may be a hard one to, um, get off the ground. Those willing to suspend their disbelief, however, will enjoy this brisk, rhyming tale of solid support and relentless esteem-building. Noodle the worm, pictured in a baseball cap worn backward, wakes one morning feeling low. He knows where to turn, though, and calls out for Lou, who counters his every complaint with a cheery compliment. By the end, Noodle is feeling pretty darned good about himself—and even better about his best friend, who's managed to give him a new perspective and turn his day around. Howard's cartoon-style illustrations match the bouncy rhythm of Scanlon's couplets perfectly and keep the tone light. Lou has scratchy eyebrows and big feet and sports a sweet smile on his sharp beak. Noodle's squiggly body language manages to effectively convey his changing emotions, and a few big-eyed bugs in the background provide additional visual appeal. Odds are good that even the littlest listeners can recognize how much having a good buddy can improve a bad mood, but it seems likely that adults will pick this up for the message while kids will prefer to pore over the pictures. Chirpy, instructive and fun.(Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442402881
Publisher:
Beach Lane Books
Publication date:
03/01/2011
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
910,980
Product dimensions:
11.10(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
2 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Liz Garton Scanlon is the author of numerous celebrated picture books, including In the Canyon; Happy Birthday, Bunny!; and the Caldecott Honor recipient All the World. Liz is an adjunct professor of creative writing at Austin Community College, and her poetry has been published widely in literary journals. She lives with her family in Austin, Texas. Visit her at LizGartonScanlon.com.

Arthur Howard is the illustrator of Goatilocks and the Three Bears by Erica S. Perl, Noodle & Lou by Liz Garton Scanlon, the Mr. Putter and Tabby series and Gooseberry Park books by Cynthia Rylant, and his own picture books. He has also coauthored and illustrated many books of humor for adults and appeared for seven seasons in the PBS math-oriented production Square One Television. He lives in New York City.

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