The Great Pasta Escape

illus. by Javier Joaquin. 40p. little bee. Aug. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781499804805. POP
K-Gr 2—What would happen if the pasta at the factory suddenly realized that instead of going to a super (market) place they were going to be dinner instead? Disbelief. Discovery of evidence (it's right on the packages!). Fear. A poorly conceived plan ("But it means sacrificing the Ravioli. It's the only way."). Anger. A miracle (Angel Hair to the rescue.). And, finally, a good plan involving teamwork, in which they are all shipped to Super Awesome Island, a very super place indeed. And of course, the whole story is all wrapped up with noodle puns galore. The amusing text gives each type of pasta its own personality, and Joaquin's cartoony illustrations give those delightful personalities life. Intellectual bow tie pasta wears glasses, laid back Mac(aroni) has a bandana and shades, and Wagon Wheel Rotelle sports a cowboy hat and boots. All of the noodles have arms, legs, and extremely expressive faces, which, despite what you might be thinking, totally works. Add in picture thought bubbles, great colors, excellent detail (the pasta have shadows!), and plenty of action for a winning combination of text and illustrations.
VERDICT A fun read-aloud selection and an introduction to the multitudes of pasta types. Includes a visual glossary of pasta shapes.

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