Noodlehead Nightmares, Noodleheads See the Future & Noodleheads Find Something Fishy by Tedd Arnold, Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss, 48 pp, RL 1.5

 Noodlehead Nightmares, Noodleheads See the Future & Noodleheads Find Something Fishy
by Tedd Arnold, Martha Hamilton & Mitch Weiss
Published by Holiday House
Purchased from Bound to Stay Bound (for my school library)
After I finished reading my first Noodlehead book, I discovered a fascinating Author's Note at the end of the book where I learned that tales of fools are traditionally called "noodles," or "noodleheads," and they have been told for as long as people have told stories. Some even date back more than two millennia! Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss, who together are known as Beauty and the Beast Storytellers brings a wealth of knowledge to these stories, citing motifs used in the stories from The Storyteller's Sourcebook: A Subject, Title, and Motif Index to Folklore Collections for Children by Margaret Read MacDonald. While this is interesting to me and adds a layer of depth to the stories, kids who read these books will love Arnold's marvelously cartoony, retro illustrations and the goofy things that Mac and Mac, the Noodleheads, get themselves into and out of.
Noodleheads Find Something Fishy is my favorite among the three, especially the ending. Each book starts with the Noodlehads introducing themselves, then two pages that set up the story. With their literal grasp of the world, Mac and Mac remind me of Amelia Bedelia, and having two of them doubles the fun. And, of course, two anthropomorphized pasta tubes walking around is pretty hilarious, too. When Mom packs Mac and Mac each a snack, gives each of them a coin, then boots them out the door, they decide to catch fish and prove to their mom that they can learn something new. Meatball is a character who appears in every story and takes advantage of Mac and Mac's gullibility, which usually means tricking them out of something. Mac and Mac see Meatball at the lake where he offers them his toy boat to use for fishing, convincing them that if they put some food in it and take a nap it will grow while they sleep! One thing after an other, from the "boat sticks" (oars) to a sneaky fish with a way with words, make for a very funny fishing trip that sends Mac and Mac home empty handed, but with a lesson learned. 

While the potential for meanness is there, it never materializes for these good natured goofballs who always seem to come out on top!





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