Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Mrs. Noodlekugel

Mrs. Noodlekugel

Daniel Pinkwater
Illustrator:  Adam Stower 
Candlewick, 2013   ISBN: 978-0763664527

Nick, Maxine, and their parents have moved into an apartment in a tall apartment building. Not long after they arrive, Nick looks out of his bedroom window and sees that down below, in a little backyard behind the apartment building, there is a little house. The children go and ask the janitor about the house and he tells them that it belongs to a nice little old lady called Mrs. Noodlekugel. He also tells them that the only way to get to that backyard and Mrs. Noodlekugel’s house is to go through the boiler room.

   Nick and Maxine’s parents both tell the children not to bother Mrs. Noodlekugel, which is why the children immediately decide that they simple must visit Mrs. Noodlekugel. The children go through the boiler room and into the backyard, which is surprisingly pretty. They walk past flowers, birdhouses, and a statue of an elf until they come up to the porch. On the porch there is a cat, standing on its back legs. It looks like another statue and the children are therefore very surprised when the cat moves. Then it talks, saying that it will see “if the mistress is home,” and it goes through the cat flap in the door.

   Mrs. Noodlekugel opens the door and invites the children in to have some apple cookies, which her cat, Mr. Fuzzface, baked. Apparently he not only can talk, but he is also a very good baker. Soon Mr. Fuzzface comes into the room carrying a tray laden down with his cookies and all the accoutrements necessary for a tea party. Mrs. Noodleklugel then suggests that they invite the mice. After all, “it would not be a tea party without the mice.” The children do not know what to think of Mrs. Noodlekugel and her unusual household.

   In this delightful book we are introduced to two children, their parents, and to a very peculiar old lady, her cat, and some farsighted mice. Young readers will love finding out that Mrs. Noddlekugel has all kinds of interesting surprises to share, as do the children’s “sneaky” parents.

   This is the first title in what promises to be a wonderful series.