Noodles & Albie
by Eric Bennett
Illustrations by Page Monte
ages 3 to 7
Noodles' & Albie's Mermaid Parade is the third fun penguin picture book in the N & A series. When Noodles & Albie overhear Jon & Ken (a pair of penguin researchers) on the Antarctic Ice talking about Coney Island, the amusement park and the annual Mermaid Parade the day before they set off for home and the parade, they convince Jon and Ken to take them along and they all embark on a 6000 mile sea adventure, stopping in the Falkland Islands and meeting other penguins (King Henry and Rocco Rockhopper) who join them, saving an oil tanker from grounding on rocks thereby averting a huge environmental disaster, and eventually making it to Coney Island just in time for the legendary Mermaid Parade. The book is a 32 page, 8.5" x 11" hardcover book, with 16 illustrations by Paige Monte. This book is for children between the ages of 4 and 8, and of course parents will love it too.
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Noodles and Albie overhear the penguin researchers discussing their soon return to Brooklyn and what they are looking forward to seeing again. When they mention an amusement park and the Mermaid Parade, Noodles and Albie convince the men to let them travel with them. The trip is long, and along the way, Noodles and Albie meet different types of penguins as well as experience a new adventure. When they finally arrive at the Mermaid Parade, it's better than they ever dreamed.
Little penguin fans will enjoy this tale. Noodles and Albie are a cute duo, who are ready to take on almost any adventure. As they travel along, readers learn more about penguins as well as several other penguin types. The information flows well with the story, never allowing it to feel like a learning session. Because it's not. The penguins discover so much more than new facts, and soon find themselves even saving a ship. It's a lovely balance between imagination, information and simple fun.
The illustrations are done with care and bring the penguins across with lovely personality. Like the story itself, there's a nice balance between realistic and fantastical, making it fun to flip through and join in on Noodles and Albie's adventure visually.
This is the third book in the series and a wonderful addition to the first two.