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NOODLE MAN by April Pulley Sayre


The Pasta Superhero

by April Pulley Sayre & illustrated by Stephen Costanza

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: April 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-439-229307-3
Publisher: Orchard

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. (Picture book. 4-7)