A sad and gloomy worm named Noodle looks to his friend Lou, a bird, to help pick up his spirits. Lou gives him the confidence he needs to feel better about himself. Isn’t that what a good friend is for? (Coming March 1, 2011)
Recommended by Deborah McLaughlin, Librarian
This humorous picture book portrays, in whimsical artwork and sprightly rhyming couplets, the story of an unlikely friendship between a worm and a blue jay. One day Noodle the worm wakes up “with a rain-cloudy heart.” Fortunately, he knows just where to go, and makes contact with Lou, the blue jay, who stoutly counters every one of Noodle’s complaints with cheerful good humor and unbounded optimism. Noodle’s complaint that “his head has no eyes” is met with a cheerful “so life’s a surprise” while his comment that “I have no feet” is met with “I think you’re complete” and a hug from Lou. By the end of the book, Noodle has “lifted his chin and crawled out of his rut,” and declares that “ the bigger surprise. . . is seeing yourself through your best buddies eyes.”
This is a brisk story of esteem building and support from a good friendship, and even the youngest readers will understand the importance of a supportive relationship with a friend. The cartoon style illustrations are perfect for conveying the light mood of the story. Noodle’s squiggly body, topped by a backwards baseball cap, effectively conveys his mood changes, while Lou’s beak consistently sports a sweet smile, and his posture his upbeat attitude, confidence, and energy. Particularly appealing for young readers will be the humorous side characters that appear in the pages, such as the other worms that appear wearing an acorn top and oversized sunglasses, and sitting in “Wiggly Field.” On the back of the title page appears a small picture of two beetles declaring that “this book is full of bugs!” -- a challenge to readers to pore over the pages to find the other bugs that appear. A fun read and a great addition to a collection; use for teaching the qualities and value of friendship and the building of self esteem for young readers.
Recommended by Linda Lucke, Learning Center Director