By: Eric S. Bennett
Illustrated by: Paige Monte
Publisher: Penguin Gift Shop
Publication Date: 2018
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
In the latest adventure in the "Noodles and Albie" series by Eric Bennett, the adorable pair are off on their biggest adventure yet as they set sail for Coney Island to participate in a mermaid parade.
Noodles, an Emperor penguin, and his fish friend Albie, live on the Antarctic ice. While there are lots of penguins around, the friends don't normally run into many humans. But one day, while they're introducing Noodles' little sister Paige to the sea, they meet Jon and Ken, researchers who have been working in the Antarctic. The humans are getting ready to leave their research project and head to the warmth of Brooklyn where they'll be attending a Mermaid Parade and the opening of an amusement park. Now that gets Noodles' attention! He confidently walks up to the researchers and asks about the parade and amusement park. Learning that the parade is one where everyone has to dress in aquatic costumes, Noodles and Albie realize it's the perfect parade for them! Getting permission to travel to Coney Island for the parade with the humans, the aquatic pair are about to have one heck of an adventure.
Along the way to Brooklyn, the travelers stop at the Falklands where Jon and Ken have some instruments that they have to check. While there, Noodles and Albie meet a King penguin named Henry. They also meets some rather funny Rockhopper penguins and then, continuing their journey, come upon a tanker in distress. And this is all before their adventure at the parade!
Noodles' & Albie's Mermaid Parade is a delightful story about two very charming characters. Kids can't help but fall in love with Noodles and his blue baseball cap, and Albie who always wears a smile. There's some drama thrown into the story (rescuing the tanker) and humor (who is more important, a King penguin or an Emperor penguin?) to keep children engaged. There is a bit more text in this book than many early readers, which makes it perfect for those who aren't quite ready for chapter books but need something more challenging than a one or two sentence per page story. Add in the educational element (facts about penguins, etc.) and the delightful illustrations, and you have a book that should be on your child's bookshelf.
Quill says: Noodles' & Albie's Mermaid Parade is a fun tale that not only entertains but also cleverly sneaks in plenty of educational tidbits along the way.