Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Mrs. Noodlekugel and Four Blind Mice

Mrs. Noodlekugel and Four Blind Mice

Daniel Pinkwater
Illustrator:  Adam Stower 
For ages 5 to 7
Candlewick, 2013   ISBN: 978-0763650544

Tucked behind a tall apartment building in a city there is a little house that has a very pretty garden around it. This is the home of Mrs. Noodlekugel, and she lives in her home with a cat, Mr. Fuzzface, and four fat mice.

Two children, a brother and sister called Nick and Maxine, live in the apartment building, and they often spend time with Mrs. Noodlekugel, who is quite happy to babysit them when the children’s parents are away from home. The children enjoy visiting Mrs. Noodlekugel, who often treats the children to tea and fresh-baked cookies.

One day they two children are in the little house having their customary snack with the old lady. The four mice are making a frightful mess, spilling their tea and covering the table with cookie crumbs. Mrs. Noodlekugel decides that it is time to take the mice to an optometrist. Their eyesight is getting so poor that they cannot see what they are doing.

When the children get to the little house the next morning Mrs. Noddlekugel is trying to persuade Mr. Fuzzface to get into the cat carrier. The cat thinks that traveling in such a conveyance is beneath his dignity and he says as much, but cats are not allowed travel on a bus unless they are in a carrier. If Mr. Fuzzface wants to join the little expedition he is going to have to accept being carried around in the carrier. Reluctantly he agrees to do so.

During their bus journey Mr. Fuzzface tells the children about his former career as a railroad cat. It turns out that he and Mrs. Noodlekugel had some grand adventures working for the railroad back in the day.

The trip to the opticians is a great success and soon the mice are fitted with glasses and they are delighted to be able to see so well. The little group decides that a snack is in order and they head for a restaurant. What they do not know is that this simple little expedition is going to turn into quite an adventure.

Young readers are going to love the delightfully peculiar characters that they are going to meet in this story. There are cats that can talk, a monkey waiter, mice that get to go to an optician’s office for eye exams, and more. It soon becomes clear that when you spend time with Mrs. Noodlekugle, you have to expect strange things to happen.