Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Daniel Pinkwater
Illustrator: Adam Stower
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Nick and Maxine have recently moved to an apartment building in the city when they discover Mrs. Noodlekugel and her talking, piano playing pets that live behind their building. When Nick and Maxine’s parents need to attend an event out of town, their parents have them stay with Mrs. Noodlekugel. They are surprised when Mr. Noodlgekugel, a sailor, brings home a bear named Drooly, whom he plans to train for the circus. When Drooly wanders off one day, everyone joins efforts to find him. Once they do, Mr. Noodlekugel and Drooly decide to head back to sea! It is quite the adventurous day for Nick and Maxine.
This book can be read as part of the Mrs. Noodlekugel series, or on its own. The illustrations are black and white, but still very engaging. Young readers will especially enjoy Nick and Maxine’s interactions with Mrs. Noodlekugel’s interesting pets. The plot ends up at about the same place that it starts in Mrs. Noodlekugel and Drooly the Bear, which may be disappointing to some readers. This book is a beginning chapter book with limited text on each page, but still arranged in chapter to give confidence to new independent readers.