Mrs. Noodlekugel by Daniel Pinkwater, illustrated by Adam Stower
Siblings Nick and Maxine have just moved into an apartment building where they live on an upper floor. Soon after they moved in, they discovered a tiny house behind their apartment building, but they could not figure out how to get there. They decided to ask the janitor of the building who told them they had to go through the boiler room. But their parents told them not to bother the woman who lived in the house and not to visit. Of course, the two children just had to meet her. So they traveled through the dark, pipe-filled boiler room and off to the sweet little house where they met Mrs. Noodlekugel and her talking cat, Mr. Fuzzface. She fed them apple cookies (baked by Mr. Fuzzface) and tea. She insisted that the four mice be invited to the tea, because you can’t have tea without mice. And that was just the first time that the children came to visit!
Pinkwater has created a jolly book for beginning readers here. It has the wonderful charm of an old-fashioned story filled with baked goods, talking animals and more than a touch of magic. At the same time, it takes place in an urban setting of apartment buildings and the city. Pinkwater’s writing is as solid as ever, creating a strong foundation for the story.
Stower’s art adds to that feeling of the juxtaposition of vintage and new. There are full-page illustrations and then others that offer just small images on the page. The illustrations have a wonderful sweetness to them, especially as the magic starts.
A cheery book for new readers, this is a confection of a book for children starting to read chapter books on their own. Appropriate for ages 5-7.
Reviewed from library copy.