Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Eric Bennett
Illustrator: Liz Bannish
Publisher: Small Batch Books
“I wonder if she’s all right. I wonder if I’ll ever see her again. I wonder where Albie is right now,” Noodles questions in Eric Bennett’s children’s book, Noodles & Albie.
This unnumbered over-sized thirty-two page hardbound targets children from preschool to early elementary school ages. With no scary scenes except being lost, it promotes information on penguins, having friendships, and not being afraid to try something new. Due to some multi-syllable words and its length, the story would be best read aloud to beginner readers. Albie’s answers to children’s questions about these creatures along with the author and illustrator’s biographies complete the book.
Illustrator Bannish’s designs are colorful while covering the full page to two-thirds of two open pages, making it easy to follow the storyline. With all conversations set apart in a dark blue color, the wording is usually printed in a simplistic font on a light blue background opposite the drawing.
In this tale, the young Emperor penguin named Noodles is afraid to swim, even though he has been coaxed by his parents to jump in the water. When he finally is brave enough to venture the water’s edge, he gets knocked into the ocean and immediately drifts out to sea.
Becoming lost, he worries if he will get home before it gets dark. He asks an elderly eel, a sleepy squid, a cranky crab, and a confused starfish which way the penguin colony is; no one can give him an answer.
When a fish named Albie asks why Noodles is so sad, he tells her it is his first day in the ocean and he has been separated from his friends. Albie knows the sea, offering to show the penguin the way home.
As they swim toward the Antarctica, the two new friends share stories and laugh. However, afraid that a leopard seal is hunting them, Noodles bursts onto dry land but does not know if Albie was harmed.
Noodles is glad to be back home but misses the friend he found in the sea. Seasons later when he is in the water again, he searches for Albie. When he finds his baseball cap floating, he recognizes his dear friend wearing it. Both are happy they get to see each other again.
With the educational information about penguins, this book not only teaches children about this unique animal, it promotes to try new experiences and make long-lasting friendships.
Thanks to the author, publicist Carol Hoenig, and Bookpleasures for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.