cover image Noodlehead Nightmares

Noodlehead Nightmares

Tedd Arnold, Martha Hamilton, and Mitch Weiss, illus. by Tedd Arnold. Holiday House, $15.95 (48p) ISBN 978-0-8234-3566-1

Arnold (the Fly Guy series) teams up with the husband-and-wife storytelling/performing duo of Hamilton and Weiss for a trio of silly, sleep-centric tales drawn from the rich folkloric tradition of the fool (a detailed opening note delineates the themes and motifs that inspired each story). A pair of literal noodleheads—two macaroni-shaped brothers both named Mac—fumble their way through a spooky night sleeping in the backyard, get tricked out of a freshly baked apple pie, and devise a plan to get out of making their beds forever in crisply delineated vignettes. The Noodleheads’ goofy schemes and over-the-top reactions to their situations are sure to elicit giggles as the stories unfold in comics-style panels (“I’ll eat the pie and you eat the pan,” suggests one of the Macs in the second tale). Arnold employs some of his signature visual flourishes to great effect, including bug-eyed characters and an in-your-face palette. While the third story gets a little convoluted as one of the Macs suffers nightmares while using a wooden box for a pillow, the punchy storytelling and all-around goofiness will entertain emerging readers and graphic novel fans. Ages 6–10. (Mar.)