Noodle Man: The Pasta Superhero

Noodle Man: The Pasta Superhero

by April Pulley Sayre, Stephen Costanza
     
 

Pasta is the passion of the Dente family. The business is a fresh-pasta deli, but business, frankly, is slow. The neighbors in the town of Durum are ordering pizzas, not pasta. So their son, Al Dente, has a brilliant idea: the world's first adjustable, portable, fresh-pasta maker. Unfortunately, he is no good at selling pasta door-to-door. But pasta, it turns out,… See more details below

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Overview

Pasta is the passion of the Dente family. The business is a fresh-pasta deli, but business, frankly, is slow. The neighbors in the town of Durum are ordering pizzas, not pasta. So their son, Al Dente, has a brilliant idea: the world's first adjustable, portable, fresh-pasta maker. Unfortunately, he is no good at selling pasta door-to-door. But pasta, it turns out, is a remarkably adaptable food--ideal for catching crooks, saving children, and making heros. Served up with antic illustrations and outrageous puns, this wacky treat is sure to have children clamoring for second helpings. Never underestimate the power of pasta!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Sayre's (Shadows, p. 189, etc.) enjoyable introduction to pasta is couched as a quick-thinking, tongue-in-cheek adventure yarn. It revolves around the Dente family (puns abound here), who-gentle and kind as they may be-are having a hard time succeeding in the family business of making pasta. Pizza has taken over the town's dinnertime. Al, the oldest son, has tried other professions-dentistry, auto mechanics-but his pasta bent has always sunk him: his teeth look like elbow macaroni, his radiator fan is made of farfalle. Then he has a brainstorm: He makes a portable pasta-maker to hawk his wares about town. Still, no one is buying. But Al does put his machine to good use, spewing out angel-hair pasta to foil bank robbers, shooting out a ribbon of lasagna noodle to serve as a slide to save people from a burning building, squeezing out fusilli to use as springs to bounce over floodwaters. In a final act of bravery, Al saves the pizza-delivery girl, and the town finally understands it has a pasta superhero on its hands. They also relearn a love of the stuff. Wildly playful artwork, from its Mediterranean colors to its characters' dreamy eyelids, melds with Sayre's goofy story, which will surely inspire readers to experiment with noodle shapes and-beware-to play with their food.--Kirkus Reviews, Feb. 15th 2002

Sayre's established gift for nonfiction does not preclude her success with fiction and humor. Perciatelli-thin Al Dente accidentally saves the floundering family pasta business (everyone wants pizza) by creating "the world's first adjustable, portable, fresh-pasta maker: any noodle, any shape, any size!" Through these diverse shapes, he performs heroic feats in the community. Young readers will chuckle over a giant lasagna-noodle slide that saves children from a burning building, and fusilli springing folks crossing flooded streets. Older audiences will find humor in the names-Mari Nara and Mac Aroni. Sayre's inventive uses for pasta are well met by Costanza's frolic in cartoon watercolors that suffers slightly from a pervasive golden glow. Endpapers showcase 18 labeled pasta shapes. "Noodle Knowledge" briefly describes how pasta is made. Pair this story in a session with Tomie dePaola's Strega Nona: An Old Tale (S & S, 1979) and discuss the opposite effects of spaghetti en masse. This tale cooks up the fun, just right--School Library Journal, March 2002

If You Should Hear a Honey Guide
*Kirkus Starred Best Book; Smithsonian Notable Book; John Burroughs List of Outstanding Books

Turtle, Turtle Watch Out "Eyecatching, realistic pastel painting... Children will be drawn to the pictures, a sea turtle surrounded by sharks...and the catchy refrain, 'Turtle, turtle, watch out'" SLJ, 10/00.

Publishers Weekly
Aptly named Al Dente repeatedly saves his small town, not with a cape or the quickness of a speeding bullet but with the aid of durum wheat and water in Sayre's (Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out!) tall tale, which extols the virtues of tortellini, ravioli and spaghetti as well as ingenuity. Al's penchant for pasta gets him thrown out of dentistry (he makes false teeth from macaroni) and expelled from automotive school (he replaces car parts with lasagna and other pastas). However, his resourceful use of angel hair helps him tie up a gang of smalltime crooks and his fusilli allows the townsfolk to escape a flood (using the corkscrew pasta as springs). Al Dente's neighbors soon give up their favorite meal pizza by delivery to flock to his family's once-struggling store for Mama Dente's Powerful Pasta Sauce and Grandma Dente's Perfect Parmesan ("Sales went through the roof, and almost as fast as pasta boils, the family business was saved!"). The text grows overly lengthy at times, repeating what the illustrations convey with energy and wit. Newcomer Costanza creates a cozy urban community of row houses in sherbet colors with striped awnings, neat back yards and a park where neighbors gather. The soft palette and slightly rounded figures hark back to a bygone era, and his shifting perspectives of people bouncing on fusilli above the rooftops, and streets that twist like spaghetti strands escalate the fun, frivolous mood. Ages 4-7. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Al Dente's family was in the pasta business. They had a fresh pasta deli. Pasta was a big part of their lives, and had been for a long time. Al wanted to be different, but it just never seemed to work out. When he finally did join the family business, it was in trouble. People seemed to want pizza, not pasta. Al had an idea that he thought might save the family business. In order to compete with pizza delivery, he invented a portable, fresh pasta maker that fit on his back. He began to wander the streets trying to sell his pasta. He managed to catch some crooks by tangling them up in pasta, but he didn't find any buyers. He rescued two boys caught in a burning building, but could not sell any pasta. Things started to turn around for Al when his Mom made him a Noodle Man shirt and he helped people stranded in a flood. Now he was getting some attention. Finally, Al got his due and the town folk rediscovered pasta when two kids were saved from a fire by jumping onto large raviolis. 2002, Orchard Books, $16.95. Ages 7 to 10. Reviewer: Kristin Harris AGES: 7 8 9 10
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Sayre's established gift for nonfiction does not preclude her success with fiction and humor. Perciatelli-thin Al Dente accidentally saves the floundering family pasta business (everyone wants pizza) by creating "the world's first adjustable, portable, fresh-pasta maker: any noodle, any shape, any size!" Through these diverse shapes, he performs heroic feats in the community. Young readers will chuckle over a giant lasagna-noodle slide that saves children from a burning building, and fusilli springing folks crossing flooded streets. Older audiences will find humor in the names-Mari Nara and Mac Aroni. Sayre's inventive uses for pasta are well met by Costanza's frolic in cartoon watercolors that suffers slightly from a pervasive golden glow. Endpapers showcase 18 labeled pasta shapes. "Noodle Knowledge" briefly describes how pasta is made. Pair this story in a session with Tomie dePaola's Strega Nona: An Old Tale (S & S, 1979) and discuss the opposite effects of spaghetti en masse. This tale cooks up the fun, just right.-Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439293075
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
03/28/2002
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
310L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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