Books and Recordings
Noodleheads Fortress of Doom
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School Library Journal says "Gr 1-3–The Noodleheads are back and as clueless as ever in this latest installment. To their credit, Mac and Mac decide to fill their empty heads with knowledge. They aren’t sure where to get knowledge, so they ask someone at their local library. Fortunately for them, it turns out that books are where knowledge comes from, so one brother checks out a novel called Fortress of Doom and the other gets a joke book. Some of the jokes predictably fly over their heads, and there’s a particularly funny spread where they can’t quite figure out how a knock-knock joke works. Since the jokes don’t pan out, Mac and Mac opt to build their very own Fortress of Doom using a wood pile in their backyard. When Meatball comes to visit, the trio have a tall tale contest with a surprising winner. All’s well that ends well, of course, and the brothers’ well-meaning nature saves the day once more. Arnold’s buoyant illustrations and the protagonists’ goofy dialogue are sure to entice readers. Part of the joy of the series is the authors’ notes at the end explaining the historical basis behind the Noodleheads’ foibles. VERDICT The Noodleheads tackle fort-building and joke-telling in this likable and silly comic. A must-buy for libraries where the series is popular. Reviewed by Gretchen Hardin, Bee Cave Public Library, TX
Kirkus Reviews says "Back for the fourth time, the pasta-headed duo keeps up the fun with their literal way of thinking. In an introduction, the pair visits the library and borrows some books. The brothers admit that they don’t understand the joke in one of their books: “What is the tallest building in the world?” The answer: “The library. It has the most stories!” Young readers of this three-chapter graphic novel will pride themselves on being smarter than Mac and Mac. They will “get it.” They’ll chuckle when one Mac is left to guard the door of the “Fortress of Doom” they just built while the other Mac goes to get something to eat. When one brother returns, he finds the other brother far from the fortress—but not the door. Fascinating information on tale types and folklore motifs used in each chapter is found in the authors’ notes, and adults can point these out and find other examples of tales about people doing foolish things. The last chapter features a “lying contest” with old frenemy Meatball, who tells a tall tale. A generous font, amusing comic-book–style artwork, the stories themselves, and excellent notes add up to a book that can be thoroughly enjoyed by one child or easily acted out in a readers’ theater activity. Very old, very funny stories made evergreen thanks to the graphic format and inventive casting. (Graphic early reader. ages 6-8) "
Junior Library Guild says "The Noodlehead brothers are back from the library with a joke book, a fantasy novel, and a dream: to build their very own Fortress of Doom. If they can stop bickering for long enough. And if they can defend it from their wily friend Meatball. Jump right in with this fourth title in an easy-to-read graphic novel series about more than two hollow pastas trying to have fun. Noodleheads has its roots in world folklore, making it a classic tale of fools.
Authors Mitch Weiss and Martha Hamilton, award-winning storytellers, join Tedd Arnold, author of the Fly Guy series, to create a masterpiece of hilarity. The series has gotten several honors, including the American Folklore Society's Aesop Prize and a Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Honor."