Noodles’ and Albie’s Birthday Surprise
Author: Eric Bennett
Illustrator: Milanka Reardon
Published December 9th, 2016
Summary: Noodles’ & Albie’s Birthday Surprise is the continuing adventures of Noodles (a penguin) and Albie (his fish friend). The story takes place on the day of Noodles birthday, which happens to be December 24th. While waiting for his party to start, Noodles and his friends play on the ice while a group of red jacket wearing tourists from a nearby cruise ship take the penguins pictures. Meanwhile, his friend Albie is under the sea searching for the perfect birthday gift for Noodles. She eventually comes across an old compass from a sunken treasure chest, which is perfect for Noodles as in the first Noodles & Albie story (2014), he had some major sense of direction issues. After giving Noodles his compass, the two friends head off for a day at Polar Kingdom, the world’s greatest undersea amusement park. After a fun day, the pair begin their journey home, but soon notice a red glow up ahead on the oceans surface. The glow it turns out is coming from the nose of one of the strange animals they come across stranded on an ice floe, along with a mysterious red jacket wearing “tourist” with a white beard, and a sled full of boxes. It turns out the mysterious tourist is lost because his assistants insisted he try a GPS devise to help guide him. Now the chubby, old man is hopelessly lost. Not only is he lost, but he’s on a deadline, and he’s in Antarctica. He can’t find his way back on track because it’s always daylight in Antarctica in December, and the poor tourist can’t even see the North Star to navigate. He needs to get North and fast. Will Noodles help the lost tourist by giving him his compass?
Review: Noodles’ and Albie’s Birthday Surprise takes readers on a second adventure of two best friends that is just as wonderful as the first and with a delightful cameo the reader doesn’t see coming. Teachers and students will find much to discuss as they read this humorous, clever tale. After reading the first of Noodles’ and Albie’s stories, we were happy to hear that Eric had written a second to allow us to go on even more adventures with these great friends.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: While reading aloud Noodles’ and Albie’s Birthday Surprise, there are many opportunities for think alouds and discussions such as predicting what Noodles will do, discussing the end of the book as well as the characters’ traits, and discussing birthday and holiday celebrations.
Discussion Questions: What character traits does Noodles and Albie show throughout the story? Include evidence for each trait.; What is the best birthday you have ever had?; How did the lost traveler know where Noodles lived?
Read This If You Loved: Noodles and Albie by Eric Bennett, Penguin series by Salina Yoon, If You Were a Penguin by Florence Minor, Your Personal Penguin by Sandra Boynton, Penguins by Seymour Simon, Tacky series by Helen Lester, A Penguin Story by Antoinette Portis, Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
**Thank you to the author for providing copies for review!**