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Mrs. Noodlekugel (Mrs. Noodlekugel #1)

3.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  413 Ratings  ·  132 Reviews
Nick and Maxine live in a tall building with one apartment on top of another. So when they look out their window and see a little house they never knew was there, of course they must visit (especially when their parents tell them not to!). Going through the boiler room, they’re amazed to find to a secret backyard with a garden, a porch, and a statue of a cat. And they’re e ...more
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Candlewick (first published March 13th 2012)
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Community Reviews

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Okay, seriously. I LOVE THIS BOOK! I didn’t know much about it going into reading it. I just knew that it had a good review. Well, now I know why! Seriously, I think that one of the happiest things in the world of juvenile fiction is that this is going to be a series of brilliant books. And that will make me very happy! Especially because this is a level that doesn’t have very many things that I love. It is harder than the easiest readers. But it isn’t as hard as a Nancy Drew book. It is probabl ...more
Ms. Yingling
Feb 12, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it did not like it
Pinkwater, Daniel. Mrs. Noodlekugel.
ARC from
Nick and Maxine move into a tall apartment building and accidentally get a glimpse of a small house with a garden in the center of their block. They are told not to go there, but once they find that they can get to the area through the boiler room of their building, they go and meet Mrs. Noodlekugel, her talking cat, and her four nearsighted mice. It turns out that she will be their babysitter, but their parents told them not to visit her
Vera Godley
Jun 22, 2012 Vera Godley rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: children of all ages
It's time to get a little bit silly, adventurous, whimsical, and down-right fun loving. Yes! It's time to explore Mrs. Noodlekuger by Daniel Pinkwater. Now as you can see from the cover image, Mrs. Noodlekuger is a delightfully cheerful little old lady.
Well, Nick and Maxine (our children in this delightful story) have discovered a tiny little house situated at the rear of the tall apartment building - in fact surrounded by tall buildings - in which they now live. Their curiosity gets the best of
Jan 11, 2012 Angela rated it really liked it

I think Daniel Pinkwater is a genius. I don't love all is work, but this is certainly one I would have loved to have read when I was young. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle meets Hansel & Gretel in this quirky and fun short chapter book. 80 pages of delightful illustrations and unexpected narrative make this a great "urban fairy tale" for young independent readers.

For those who posted before me (the aforementioned minimal stars),
Feb 01, 2016 Hollowspine rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
Nick and Max live in one of the tall apartment buildings in a neighborhood filled with tall apartment buildings, but they found a secret way into the strange little garden and house surrounded on all sides by the tall buildings. Mrs. Noodlekugel lives in that house and when their parents expressly forbid them from visiting her the kids try to do good, but the house is just too interesting to stay away from.

Once they meet Mrs. Noodlekugel and the cat Fuzzface and all the mice living with them the
Jennifer Haight
Jun 08, 2012 Jennifer Haight rated it it was ok
Mrs. Noodlekugel is the eccentric neighbor who lives in a "little old-fashioned house," which catches the attention of the children Nick and Maxine who live in a huge skyscraper next door. The story has great potential but doesn't feel complete as some of the kid's queries are answered glibly and without mystery and other strange occurrences don't seem to shock the children. With pieces of numerous fairytales juggled about and a story that never decides if it will be a moral tale, or simply a hu ...more
Help! I just finished this and have no idea how to rate it. There are some things about it that I LOVED. It was funny, whimsical, weird and goofy. And yet, there were parts where the writing really bothered me. I know it is inteded for kids transitioning from beginning readers to chapter books, but I expected the writing to be smoother. There are parts that seem abrupt and clunky. There is a decided lack of contractions in the dialogue that makes it feel like the kinds of writing that my kids HA ...more
If you stand on the dresser in Maxine’s new high-rise bedroom and look out of the very corner of the window, you might see a tiny little cottage, tucked in behind all the skyscrapers in the neighborhood. That is the home of Mrs. Noodlekugel and her talking, baking cat, Mr. Fuzzface. Nick and Maxine aren’t sure how to get to the backyard of the skyscraper to meet Mrs. Noodlekugel, but with the help of the Mike the janitor (who likes to eat stewed tomatoes out of the can), they find their way to t ...more
Jun 23, 2013 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: children starting to read chapter books
This is a short, strange tale about an adorable little old lady who lives in a small, adorable house in the middle of a group of apartment buildings. The tale is entertaining, featuring a talking, singing, cooking cat and four very farsighted mice.

Both my husband and I had a good chuckle over the parents who forbid the kids to visit the little old lady, which, of course, they immediately do. It makes me wonder what Nick and Maxine might have done had their parents encouraged them to visit the l
Very 'meh.'
Looking for some more books to choose for grade school reading groups, Mrs. Noodlekugel and any of its sequels would be a great choice. Daniel Pinkwater continues to infuse his work with a whimsy that never fails to charm. Mrs Noodlekugel is a lovely woman (not a witch, though she certainly has a magic of her own) who lives in a cozy cottage tucked away behind the massive apartment blocks of a major city, and is discovered by two children who quickly find out that anything is possible at Mrs Noo ...more
Pop Bop
Jul 04, 2014 Pop Bop rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Magical Realism, With A Wink and A Smile, For Kids

No one does deadpan absurd better than Daniel Pinkwater. From early readers through YA high schoolers these are books for the hippest and most tuned-in of kids.

The Larry the Polar Bear books and the Irving and Muktuk books are ideal for starting readers who can follow the slightly skewed action. "The Werewolf Club" is for a slightly older crowd. You have the Adventures of a Cat-Whiskered Girl series for even older readers, and The Education of Ro
Jul 29, 2014 Sandy rated it liked it
This is a very quick and simple read, but I think that readers just beginning to delve into chapter books would enjoy it. Two children named Nick and Maxine discover a tiny cottage tucked behind all of the big apartment buildings in the city where they live. They ask Mike the Janitor about it, and he tells them that a little old lady named Mrs. Noodlekugel lives there, and the only way to get to her house is to go out through the boiler room. The two kids sneak out, and they are delighted to fin ...more
Monica Edinger
Apr 11, 2012 Monica Edinger rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this. The title and illustrations suggest some sort of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle-ish woman, but the story isn't that. It is sort of shaggy dog, meandering, and odd, but something about the writing and deadpan amusing elements (e.g. nearsighted mice) absolutely charmed me. The ending is a tad abrupt, but it is the first in series so I will be interested to see where it goes.
Libby Ames
Mar 02, 2014 Libby Ames rated it liked it
Nick and Maxine live in a tall apartment building in a neighborhood of tall buildings. When they notice a friendly cottage with a little yard and picket fence in the middle of all the large buildings, the siblings have to find a way inside. The little cottage reveals Mrs. Noodlekugel, a friendly old woman with a talking cat who serves tea. Soon Nick and Maxine enjoy many magical adventures with their new found friend.

Mrs. Noodlekugel is perfectly leveled for a new reader. The characters appeal t
Jul 10, 2014 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any beginning reader and all with a wacky sense of silly
A delightful fantasy for beginning readers. Refreshingly old fashioned in that it relies on running gags to move the plot along. No violence.
Feb 16, 2016 Talia rated it really liked it
This is for all 3 books in the series (didn't want to put separate entries)

This was a cute series! Easy listening with pictures, similar to Mercy Watson. I wasn't thrilled when Nick & Maxine deliberately disobeyed their parents in the first book (but then their parents said it was cool because they knew they'd do it? Nice), but I tried to turn it into a teaching opportunity. My favorite was the 2nd book: the gang takes the 4 nearsighted mice to get glasses, and then they get cheesecake and m
Kristen Badger
Jul 31, 2014 Kristen Badger rated it did not like it
Pinkwater, D. (2012). Mrs. Noodlekugel. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press.

This cute and funny early chapter book tells the story of two kids and their unique babysitter. Talking animals and dancing cookies will have kindergarten, first, and second graders laughing out loud.

I would recommend this book to students who enjoy the Miss Piggle Wiggle series, the Amelia Bedelia series, and the Poppleton series.


From Follett Tittlwave:

Booklist 04/01/12

Library Media Connection 08/01/12

Bulletin of
Nicola Mansfield
Dec 05, 2012 Nicola Mansfield rated it really liked it
Reason for Reading: My son read to me as his reader. I have always enjoyed Daniel Pinkwater as an author, though I've only read a few of his books.

First as to age appropriateness. The publisher recommends this to age 5+ and that is an appropriate age but as a read-aloud. I think the perfect reading level group would be 7-9. However, my struggling reader is 12 and he found the story funny, not babyish at all. This is the extreme age range though.

This is a light-hearted quick read. Mrs. Noodlekuge
Apr 26, 2012 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
Siblings Nick and Maxine have just moved into an apartment building where they live on an upper floor. Soon after they moved in, they discovered a tiny house behind their apartment building, but they could not figure out how to get there. They decided to ask the janitor of the building who told them they had to go through the boiler room. But their parents told them not to bother the woman who lived in the house and not to visit. Of course, the two children just had to meet her. So they traveled ...more
Vidya Tiru
Mar 06, 2012 Vidya Tiru rated it it was ok
– A quick and easy read which could have packed a little bit more than it does. Two children discover a charming home in the middle of where they least expected it – right in the middle of a whole block of high rise buildings. The kids find out that it belongs to Mrs.Noodlekugel, a kind old woman who lives there with a talking cat along with not three, but four blind mice.
The story moved and ended rather abruptly for me and was a little confusing and not seeming so right as well at certain poin
Inhabiting Books
This book would have been ideal for my newly emerging readers: it has a kid-appealing story with just enough fantasy, folly, and humor (and plenty of charming black-and-white illustrations by Adam Stower) to keep a beginning reader's attention, in addition to great cover appeal (for girls, anyway.) But be aware that this book has a limited readership, given that the text is overly simplistic (quite Dick-and-Jane-ish, just in longer chapter form.) It is, in effect, a long beginning reader, when t ...more
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One of the hardest things for me is finding books for third graders, but after reading Mrs. Noodlekugel, I'll have a bit more to recommend to kids in the younger grades who may not be ready to read "real" chapter books but want something more advanced that a K-2nd grade reader. Some of the flaws that other reviewers have pointed out, I think, are actually not so much the writing style, etc., but because the story is meant for a younger audience. (For example, I don't think I've ever thought of a ...more
Apr 20, 2012 Becky rated it did not like it
The cover is the best part about this book. That and the interior illustrations. This book *looks* like it would be comparable to Mary Poppins and/or Mrs. Pigglewiggle. The book *looks* like it would be a funny story for an age-group that doesn't get much attention. But. The writing just did NOT work for me at all. The writing--especially the dialogue--was so terribly unnatural and awkward. Trying much too hard to be Dick and Jane, maybe? I don't know.

A tall building, with one apartment stacked
Oct 16, 2013 Robin rated it it was ok
Everyone knows I am the biggest Pinkwater fan. But, not of this book.

Great premise! A little old lady lives in the garden behind an apartment building that can only be accessed through the boiler room. The rest of the story feels just . . . lazy. (I am so sorry to be saying this. Lizard Music. Hoboken Chicken Emergency. The Yggyssey. Sigh.)

An old lady named Mrs. Nudelkugel should help the kids make . . . Noodle Kugel! And kasha varnishkes. And kishka. Maybe babka or mandelbrot. A tongue sandwich
Jan 25, 2013 Beth rated it really liked it
My reluctantly reading 2nd Grader loves this book. His review: "It has no scary parts, only fun parts. The exciting parts are fun without being scary fun." I'm not sure what level of scariness he was expecting from a book with a friendly grandma and cat on the cover. Maybe I've talked to him about Nazi's too much...

This super-short chapter book could almost be a Level 3 Reader, like Frog and Toad. This mild fantasy quest is a great introduction for reluctant readers, boys and girls alike. Most o
Rey Skywalker
Aug 24, 2014 Rey Skywalker rated it liked it
The only reason I wanted to read this book was because Mrs. Noodlekugle looked like a sweet and typical grandma. The story reminds me of the cat in the hat.

If there's three things kids will learn while reading this book its:
1. To talk to creepy janitors that talk to themselves.
2. Be disobedient to your parents.
3. Go off alone to a stranger’s house.

Upon chapter 3 it felt like Hansel and Gretel, I’m just waiting for this lady to eat these kids.
Ann Haefele
Nov 20, 2012 Ann Haefele rated it it was ok
I love Daniel Pinkwater's humor but it fell flat in this beginning chapter book. It is a 72 page beginning chapter book with large type, black and white illustrations throughout, and lots of white space. There are too few books like this out there for beginning readers so I had high hopes. Nothing terribly wrong with it, but the story does not go anywhere. Nick and Maxine learn that Mrs. Noodlekugel is their new babysitter and have some fun adventures with her, the end. There is a 2nd book in th ...more
May 07, 2014 Annie rated it liked it
This is sweet, if slight. My five year old son loves having it read to him. I expected it to be funnier, given that I have so loved Daniel Pinkwater's books in the past. The language is almost too simple for a book of this length. It makes the dialogue sound a little stilted. It might be just the thing for a reluctant reader who wants to move out of beginning readers but still needs a book written at that level.
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Daniel Manus Pinkwater is an author of mostly children's books and is an occasional commentator on National Public Radio. He attended Bard College. Well-known books include Lizard Music, The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, Fat Men from Space, Borgel, and the picture book The Big Orange Splot. Pinkwater has also illustrated many of his books in the past, although for more recent works that ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Mrs. Noodlekugel (3 books)
  • Mrs. Noodlekugel and Four Blind Mice
  • Mrs. Noodlekugel and Drooly the Bear

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