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Mrs. Noodlekugel and Four Blind Mice Hardcover – September 24, 2013
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Four farsighted mice take center stage in the second installment of the Mrs. Noodlekugel series. Along with the mice, Mrs. Noodlekugel, Mr. Fuzzface (the talking cat), and children Maxine and Nick are having tea one afternoon. When the mice make a terrible mess of their tea table, Mrs. Noodlekugel declares it’s their bad eyesight. So off they go to the oculist for a fitting of mice-sized glasses. It’s rare to find a subplot with any real substance in a short novel for younger readers. However, Pinkwater has provided one that involves the search for Mr. Fuzzface’s missing father. Clever, as always, Pinkwater’s quirky story with a touch of whimsy will amuse many readers. Grades K-2. --Martha Edmundson
If Pinkwater’s first Mrs. Noodlekugel book didn’t persuade readers, the second one will: it’s Mrs. Noodlekugel’s matter-of-factly loopy world—we just live in it. ... Stower’s sly, sweet illustrations provide piquant punctuation for Pinkwater’s special brand of nonsense...
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Top customer reviews
This book falls into a middle grade category, I think. It is informed by Pinkwater's signature narrative style - an oddly formal and restrained yet silly approach that treats even the most unusual situations as perfectly normal and unremarkable. This often has the effect of transforming the mundane, trivial or commonplace into something strange and magical.
Here, two siblings have befriended the old lady who lives in a house entirely penned in by surrounding apartment buildings. They can only get to her porch by walking through their apartment building's boiler room. Mrs. Noodlekugle has a talking cat and four farsighted bumbling mice. The kids get to visit her often and the gang goes on various urban adventures while Mrs. N. tells fantastically odd stories and makes remarkably eccentric observations. It's strange and comfortable at the same time. You will most probably wish that you could eat cheesecake with this gang at Dirty Sally's Lunchroom.
All of this works because of the characters Pinkwater favors. Regardless of the ages all of his protagonists are capable, resourceful, unflappable and mildly bemused by the situations they encounter. They are armed with keen insight. They are also curious and courageous, and completely attuned to the absurdity around them. Whether it's a piano playing talking cat, a giant chicken, a lizard musical band, a cat-whiskered girl, or an alien hamburger stand, these heroes and heroines bravely step forward to see "what the heck this is all about".
I doubt you could read a lot of these books one after the other; it would probably get to be a bit much. But, for a spicy diversion this might be just the right choice for an adventuresome reader.
Please note that I found this book while browsing the local library's Kindle books, and downloaded it for free. I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.