With signature wit and whimsy, the inimitable Daniel Pinkwater introduces an eccentric, endearing babysitter every child will wish they could have.
Nick and Maxine live in a tall building with one apartment on top of another. So when they look out their window and see a little house they never knew was there, of course they must visit (especially when their parents tell them not to!). Going through the boiler room, they’re amazed to find to a secret backyard with a garden, a porch, and a statue of a cat. And they’re even more amazed when that cat starts to talk. . . . Welcome to the world of Mrs. Noodlekugel, where felines converse and serve cookies and tea, vision-impaired mice join the party (but may put crumbs up their noses), and children in search of funny adventures are drawn by the warm smell of gingerbread and the promise of magical surprises.
Stower’s illustrations have an old-fashioned sweetness, while Pinkwater, ever the effortless storyteller, adds just enough bite with his signature deadpan, loopy humor... Pinkwater works narrative magic within the grammatical confines of the early reader format—readers should find Mrs. Noodlekugel’s world delightful and instantly familiar, and look forward to future installments.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Daniel Pinkwater does not deal in pathos but in nutty good humor, and he has pitched the gently zany tale of MRS. NOODLEKUGEL at 5- to-7-year-olds who are just getting confident with chapter books... With occasionally tricky vocabulary, such as "ventriloquist" and "sanitary," this is just the sort of book to make a young reader feel adept.
—The Wall Street Journal
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle meets Mary Poppins.
In novels and picture books we’ve seen Pinkwater in a variety of modes—absurd, satirical, anarchic, deadpan, funny-melancholy. In this offering, an early chapter book, we see yet another color in his palette: cozy... Stower’s pencil drawings perfectly echo the joyous insouciance of this benign—if surreal—backyard world.
—The Horn Book