Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Mrs. Noodlekugel

Mrs. Noodlekugel. Daniel Pinkwater. Illustrated by Adam Stower. 2012. Candlewick. 80 pages.

A tall building, with one apartment stacked on top of another--that is where Nick and Maxine came to live with their parents.

The cover is the best part about this book. That and the interior illustrations. This book *looks* like it would be comparable to Mary Poppins and/or Mrs. Pigglewiggle. The book *looks* like it would be a funny story for an age-group that doesn't get much attention. But. The writing just did NOT work for me at all. The writing--especially the dialogue--was so terribly unnatural and awkward. Trying much too hard to be Dick and Jane, maybe? I don't know. The writing just felt foreign, awkward, robotic. The book may promise, "signature wit and whimsy" but it doesn't quite deliver. (I can see the whimsy, I can. It just isn't enough to save this one, in my opinion.) 

Try it for yourself. Read the first few paragraphs:
A tall building, with one apartment stacked on top of another--that is where Nick and Maxine came to live with their parents. They had not lived there very long when Maxine said to Nick, "Come to my room. I have discovered something." "What?" Nick asked. "What have you discovered?" "You can see it out the window," Maxine said. "But you have to stand with your head in that corner." "But there is a chest of drawers in that corner," Nick said. "I know there is," Maxine said. "You have to stand on top of the chest of drawers and lean your head into the corner and look out the window and down. Then you will see it." "Is that how you saw it?" What were you doing standing on top of the chest of drawers?" "Just do it. Tell me what you see." Nick climbed onto the chest of drawers. He leaned his head into the corner. He looked out the window and down. "I see grass. I see trees and flowers. There is a little old-fashioned house." "It is nice," Maxine said. "The house is cute. Did you know there was a backyard to this building with a cute little house in it?" "I did not," Nick said. "We should go down there." "Yes," Maxine said. (1-4)
Read Mrs. Noodlekugel
  • If you can look past the unnaturalness of the writing, especially the dialogue between this brother and sister
  • If you are looking for a fantasy (talking animals--cat and mice) to share with young children

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

Um, I'd rather stick with Mrs. PiggleWiggle, which is totally what I thought you were reviewing when I was scrolling through my Google reader. I got all excited, because it's been a loooooooong time since I'd seen a Mrs. PiggleWiggle book. This however does not sound like it needs to be on my shelves for my "maybe someday we'll have a baby" books. Plus, the cover is a total rip off of Mrs. PiggleWiggle! At least it's a cute cover though, but I'm passing on Mrs. Noodlekugel.

Ms. Yingling said...

You hit it right on the head. The cover was the best part.

Sally said...

Ugghh, I could only get half of the excerpt. I would have bought this based on the name and cover alone.

guiltlessreading said...

Thank goodness I'm not the only who thought that the language was unnatural! If you're interested in my thoughts on this one here's my link: