From the Noodleheads series , Vol. 7

Sweet as pie!

Reading about Noodleheads is easy as pie.

The Noodleheads are back for another series of logically illogical tales rooted in international folklore. In this seventh outing of the series, protagonists Mac and Mac, anthropomorphic pieces of macaroni pasta, are trying to take it easy on a nice summer day, but their naïveté and cheery ability to take things literally (if not logically) eventually lead them into town, where they need to purchase ingredients for pies that their mother wants to make. Along the way, they consider idioms related to the word easy (“easy as pie,” “easy as falling off a log”), eventually returning with the ingredients—and eager for pie. Although the pies eventually get made, some pie-related tomfoolery ensues as their friend Meatball helps them pass the time as the desserts cool, but everything works out for the best. Young readers unfamiliar with the titular characters’ previous exploits will have no problem understanding the zany humor, and mature readers will love the backmatter, which traces the history of each story’s inspirations. Arnold’s bold artwork, depicting characters with bulging eyes and oversize bodies on tiny legs, remains a classic vehicle for capturing the wackiness of the tales, and fans of this pair’s adventures will welcome this latest addition with giggles galore. Savvy educators and caregivers will use this as an introduction to discuss idioms and the importance of not being a noodlehead in real life! (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Sweet as pie! (Graphic early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4758-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: July 12, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2022


A hamster with an irritating lack of social skills fails to alienate a cast of small woodland creatures in this strange import. Looking more like an undersized koala in Martin’s simply drawn scenes, Hamster opens with a wish that “in the heavens and on earth [a]ll will praise an extraordinary hamster,” then goes on to explain in his diary how much everyone adores him, to disinvite Rabbit to his birthday party, to blow off a shy confession from Mole and so on—until at the culminating party he takes a bow after belittling everyone’s gifts. Meanwhile, the animals gather to mull such Big Questions as whether worms can shed tears of joy. Within each of her large sequential panels, the illustrator surrounds small figures with generous quantities of flat, uniformly colored green ground and blue sky, punctuated by the occasional tree or shrub. All that wide-open space focuses attention on the dialogue, which sometimes offers insights into the character of each member of the cast but too often falls flat: “Squirrel…a nut. Just one? Hmmm, not so great, so let’s just forget about it.” Yes, let’s. (Graphic picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: July 20, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59270-093-6

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2010


The dream phantasms of a high-spirited narrator intersect, even crowd, reality, but the stream-of-consciousness text makes for a rambling, radically personal tale. Playful images of a stuffed lion, trampoline, purple shoes, and a cat named Pine-Cone take hold in a young girl’s imagination, despite her “old” mother who makes her go to bed when she’d rather “stay up early” and a big sister with a cranky disposition. At home, she likes counting flea bites and pretending to be a worm, but is afraid of the dark and going to Grade One. The second half of the book takes off in a separate first-day-of school direction. Wild dreams precede the big day, which includes bullies on the playground and instant friend Chelsea. The childlike articulations of the text are endearing, but not quite of universal interest, and don’t add up to a compelling story; children may more readily warm to Gay’s illustrations, which include a dreamlike flying cat, a menacing hot dog, and an uproarious stuffed toy looming over everyday domestic scenes. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 15, 1999

ISBN: 1-55143-107-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 1999

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