In Chapter 1, their old frenemy Meatball introduces the anthropomorphic ziti to honey, but the noodleheads understand it as “trouble.” Seeing an opportunity for mischief, Meatball then gives them a bag of “trouble.” The paper bag contains bees, but luckily, their mother intercepts it. By sheer coincidence, she has just built herself beehives, and what starts as a problem ends up being a boon. In Chapter 2, Meatball sells the brothers a watermelon that can hatch cats. Of course it doesn’t, but of course they end up with a kitten anyway thanks to the generosity of Farmer Spud. Chapter 3 shows them trying to think of a strong name for the kitten, starting out with Sky and Cloudy, then moving to sillier names such as Hippopotamus, Blippopotamus, and Nincompoop. (The cat’s expressions as they try these names out are hilarious.) When Mom says that the kitten is lucky to have the brothers as caregivers, they fasten on the right name and shout: “We got Lucky!” Arnold’s paneled cartoons extend the silliness. Fun-loving kids will laugh out loud as Mac and Mac make mistakes but end up OK. Adults will enjoy the excellent story source notes.
Children who appreciate being a little smarter than the characters they read about will relish it.(Graphic early reader. 6-8)