Noodleheads Fortress of Doom

Holiday House. Sept. 2019. 48p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780823440016.
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.

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