Saturday, February 18, 2012

Review: Mrs. Noodlekugel by Daniel Pinkwater


SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS.COM:
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.
MY TAKE:

I was very intrigued when I read the blurb for Mrs. Noodlekugel.

When Nick and Maxine see a house in the middle of apartment complexes, they try and find a way to visit it and whomever lives there. The house belongs to Mrs. Noodlekugel, a kind old lady with a talking cat and four blind mice.

The descriptions are very vivid and the premise is very promising. This could be a cartoon series, I think, because there are plenty of elements that would work well in a cartoon or a book series. The illustrations are also very beautiful and it's so easy to imagine the characters. I especially liked Mr. Fuzzface, Mrs. Noodlekugel's cat. He's cute, smart, and can bake cookies.

Because it has such a good premise, I was really expecting a lot from this book. However, there's no conflict or climax and it feels incomplete. Maybe there's a sequel?

Thanks to NetGalley and Candlewick Press for the e-ARC. Publication date of Mrs. Noodlekugel is on March 13, 2012.

THE GOOD:
  1. Interesting premise.
  2. Vivid descriptions.
  3. Mr. Fuzzface, the amazing cat!
THE BAD:
  1. Some of the dialogue are kinda too stiff and formal to be said by kids. Mostly, they do not use contractions so the kids sound like they were born in the '50s.
  2. The story feels incomplete and there is no real conflict.
FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
"The mice are farsighted," Mrs. Noodlekugel said. "But they enjoy tea parties."
READ IT IF:
  1. You like the idea of magical old ladies, talking cats and blind mice.
  2. You like whimsical books.
  3. You like cute illustrations that make it easier to imagine the story.
RATING:
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