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NOODLE AND LOU by Liz Garton Scanlon


by Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Arthur Howard

Pub Date: March 8th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4424-0288-1
Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Odd couples abound in children’s stories, but somehow the notion of a chirpy blue jay being friends with a (succulent, pink, wiggly) worm may be a hard one to, um, get off the ground. Those willing to suspend their disbelief, however, will enjoy this brisk, rhyming tale of solid support and relentless esteem-building. Noodle the worm, pictured in a baseball cap worn backward, wakes one morning feeling low. He knows where to turn, though, and calls out for Lou, who counters his every complaint with a cheery compliment. By the end, Noodle is feeling pretty darned good about himself—and even better about his best friend, who’s managed to give him a new perspective and turn his day around. Howard’s cartoon-style illustrations match the bouncy rhythm of Scanlon’s couplets perfectly and keep the tone light. Lou has scratchy eyebrows and big feet and sports a sweet smile on his sharp beak. Noodle’s squiggly body language manages to effectively convey his changing emotions, and a few big-eyed bugs in the background provide additional visual appeal. Odds are good that even the littlest listeners can recognize how much having a good buddy can improve a bad mood, but it seems likely that adults will pick this up for the message while kids will prefer to pore over the pictures. Chirpy, instructive and fun. (Picture book. 3-6)