Everyone knows I am the biggest Pinkwater fan. But, not of this book.
Great premise! A little old lady lives in the garden behind an apartment building that can only be accessed through the boiler room. The rest of the story feels just . . . lazy. (I am so sorry to be saying this. Lizard Music. Hoboken Chicken Emergency. The Yggyssey. Sigh.)
An old lady named Mrs. Nudelkugel should help the kids make . . . Noodle Kugel! And kasha varnishkes. And kishka. Maybe babka or mandelbrot. A tongue sandwich on deli rye with some nice steak fries. Not gingerbread mice. Sorry.
And, a talking cat who chooses to be little more than a butler? Wah.
The illustrations don’t help. Skillfully done, but an awful mismatch with the story. Bland, cutesy-pie in the most boring way and, the kids look too old for needing a babysitter.
Oh, Daniel Pinkwater, I still love you. But this will not become part of my home Pinkwater collection. I do not need a complete set.