illus. by K-Fai Steele. 80p. Enchanted Lion. Jan. 2019. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781592702664.
K-Gr 3—Elephant is obsessed with noodles of all shapes and sizes, which is why her friends have given her the name Noodlelephant. This eclectic group of friends relish her famous pasta parties. The only bossy, unfriendly animals in the town of Rooville are the cantankerous Kangeroos, who are intent on making unreasonable new laws that restrict who can swim at the beach and more. When a new law forces elephants to eat only sticks and branches, Noodlelephant creates a "Phantastic Noodler" that turns anything into noodles with a few turns of a crank. Ultimately, it is this machine that transforms the Kangaroos' rigid law book into a delicious lasagna, resulting in a peaceful resolution for all. The story presents the complex idea of pursuing social justice in a child-friendly way. The plot progresses further as Noodlelephant is taken to court and thrown into jail, only to escape when the machine changes the iron bars into udon. At more than 60 pages of text and illustrations, the book might be somewhat overwhelming for younger children, who may focus more on the pasta and the magical device, overlooking the true message of the tale. The Kangaroos are not nearly as mean-looking as they act and look a bit similar to one or two other animals.
VERDICT An ambitious message that simplifies its overall purpose; social injustice, after all, cannot be solved instantaneously with wacky inventions.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing