The ruling kangaroos of Rooville have successfully practiced apartheid…until they try to ban Noodlephant’s beloved pasta parties.
“Once there was an elephant who loved noodles. She loved noodles so much that all her friends called her Noodlephant.” This quirky, imaginative tale includes a playfulness in both text and artwork, balancing its serious themes. From the beginning, readers learn that the bossy kangaroos have “deep pockets” and have privileges over all the other animals. These animals know the laws are unfair, but they don’t want to be thrown into the Zoo. They find ways to enjoy life despite being restricted from the beach, the Butterfly Garden, and law-making. One day, a particularly nasty, violent kangaroo destroys Noodlephant’s recent purchase of pasta ingredients and declares that noodle-eating is illegal for all but kangaroos. In a moment of literal navel-gazing, Noodlephant is inspired to build a magical machine that turns anything into pasta. Readers follow her through a kangaroo court(!)—including a rudimentary introduction to the nolo contendere plea—to the dreaded Zoo and her subsequent hunger strike. Help from her loyal, clever friends leads finally to a bloodless but pasta-filled revolution. Accessible sentences are peppered with spurts of couplets, wordplay, and culinary vocabulary. The art is perfect: pen-and-ink and colorful washes show numerous, wide-eyed animal citizens, anthropomorphic and, sometimes, laugh-out-loud funny.
“Yes, noodles are for me’s and you’s”…humor cushions timely views. (Picture book. 4-9)