Posts Tagged ‘Fish’

Noodles and Albie – The Long And Waddling Road

July 1, 2014

It’s been 16 months since we began this journey to create a penguin picture book adventure about a sweet penguin named Noodles and his feisty friend Albie, but the Penguin Post is happy to report that at long last Noodles & Albie is finally, really, truly here.   From the early reviews and receptions at readings, it was worth the wait.   Small Batch Press did a wonderful  job designing the book out with an original esthetic and yet at the same time with a timeless, classic, feel, and Liz Bannish’s fourteen glorious water color illustrations shine throughout. noodlesandalbiefrontcover

The story behind Noodles & Albie evolved over many years. It was initially conceived by Penguin Gift Shop founder and long time penguin lover Eric Bennett as a bedtime story for his young daughters, Sophie and Rose.  The tale was originally called The Fish & The Penguin, or the Fishy Penguin Story, and was mostly told and re-told from Eric’s memory and imagination.  The title and plot was ever changing depending on who the story was being read to and how much time Eric had to devote to the telling.

A couple of years back for a fun winter project with his daughter Sophie the story was finally put down on paper.

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Then in January 2013 Eric was “volunteered” by his youngest daughter Rose to read a story to her kindergarten class. Rather than read something from their bookshelf, Eric decided to at long last put The Fish & The Penguin to paper for real and read his time tested penguin adventure to Rose’s class.  But, this time he decided to name main characters, Noodles & Albie.  Noodles (Eric’s nickname since he was a kid) & Albie (the nickname of his friend Melissa) was finally settled on so as not to upset either Sophie or Rose, as well as to give the characters a bit more personality than the generic “Fish & Penguin”.  Besides, it seemed from the start that the names Noodles & Albie fit the story perfectly.  The reading to Ms. Bussone’s kindergarten class that cold winter morning was met with much fanfare.  With an unprecedented standing ovation from a kindergarten class!

noodleswithparents

A small Noodles & Albie buzz was now in the air, with Eric getting requests for printed copies of the story from a few children and parents at Bridge St. School. It didn’t take much coaxing for Eric to do an additional reading for the schools other kindergarten and first grade classes, which were again very well received.  A short time later, the story was brought to the attention of his friend and local artist Liz Bannish.  She was so intrigued by the charming penguin tale and colorful characters that naturally Eric inquired if she would be interested in illustrating the story. To his surprise Liz said sure, and the two began to collaborate on bringing Noodles, Albie and their undersea world to life.

Over the following weeks Liz’s illustrations went from Eric’s black and white storyboard sketches to a series of beautifully detailed watercolor paintings, capturing the essence of the story with Liz’s unique take on the characters that inhabit it.

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During this time Eric and Liz shopped for a publisher and after lots of wrangling and false starts Noodles and Albie finally found a home with Small Batch Books.  Being first time authors we decided to take our time the last couple of months to make sure everything turned out the way we wanted, and we’re happy to say we think it did.  We hope you do too.

So if you have kids, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends that have kids or if your kid is going to a birthday party.  We think Noodles & Albie is the perfect gift for you and that little penguin lover in all of us.

 

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This Penguin Speaks!

June 12, 2014

noodlesandalbiefrontcoverIt was indeed a festive atmosphere at Penguin HQ in downtown Northampton last night, as a half dozen friends and wanna-be aquatic thespians gathered for the first historic recording session of the Noodles & Albie e-book audio files.   Although we’re not sure which version of Noodles and Albie is going to be released first (print or e-book), as they’re presently waddling neck and neck.

The hardcover picture book is on its way to the printer and is now scheduled for an early July release, while the e-book is laid out complete and only missing the fun, interactive audio tracks.

That said,  last night we began laying down the much anticipated audio files which will enable e-book readers to click on multiple penguin footprints in the page margins that will enable Noodles and Albie fans to hear their favorite characters.

Annicca reading Noodles

Annicca reading Noodles

There will also be all sorts of fun sound effects like water splashing when Noodles falls in the ocean.  Last night Dave (the narrator), Annecca (Noodles), Kate (Albie), Maze (Noodles Mom and Confused Starfish).

Narrator Dave

Narrator Dave

Sophie (as Sophie) and yours truly (Noodles’ Dad, Old Eel and Crabby Crab) were recorded at our Penguin Igloo HQ “studio” by head penguin recording engineer Chris Ryan.

A fun time was had by all as we attempted to bring Noodles, Albie and their colorful Antarctic world to life.  There will be at least one more recording session, and then comes the editing and mixing to finish the audio files.  After that, interactive penguin e-book here we come!  Everyone involved is really looking forward to the finished project in the next couple of weeks.  Stay tuned for official release date.

Kate is all about Albie

Kate is all about Albie

What They’re Saying About Noodles & Albie

May 16, 2014

Hey there Noodles and Albie fans.  The book is finally going to press next week and the release date for this much anticipated penguin picture book, written by Eric Bennett with wonderful water color illustrations by Liz Bannish is set for mid-June.  So far the early reviews are unanimous that this is a pretty cool read for the hip, young, penguin loving picture book crowd.  The latest rave is from the Penguin Lady herself, Dyan deNapoli, who is the award winning author of the Great Penguin Rescue, all-around Penguin Lecturer, and the “Emperor Penguin” behind the much praised Penguin TedTalks series.

Noodles & Albie is a delightful book about penguins, friendship, and growing up that will be enjoyed by children of all ages. The charming illustrations bring the many adventures of Noodles to life.  And, while following Noodles’ escapades, children will also be learning about actual Emperor penguin biology and behavior. Two flippers up for Noodles & Albie!

Dyan deNapoli – The Penguin Lady
Penguin expert and award-wininng author of The Great Penguin Rescue

Here’s a few more great reviews and a first sneak peak of the back cover of our soon to be released book.  Noodles & Albie.

noodlesbackcover

Noodles and Albie Penguin Book Going To Press

April 23, 2014

It’s been a long time coming, but the delightful picture book Noodles and Albie (Small Batch Press 2014) is finally going to press this week and should be available to the penguin loving public by the beginning of May.  noodleswithparents

The story by (yours truly) Eric Bennett with beautiful watercolor illustrations by Liz Bannish is the tale of Noodles, a young penguin who’s afraid of the water and his feisty fishy friend Albie.  A preview of the hardcover, 32 page picture book, with 14 illustrations has so far been met with rave reviews (and why not).  See below.

“Who doesn’t love penguins? Kids of all ages will fall head over flippers for Noodles and his undersea adventure with his fishy friend Able! Charmingly illustrated with beautiful, detailed watercolors by Liz Bannish”
Michael Chesworth- Crashbangboom Books

 

“Liz Bannish’s watercolor illustrations delight in Noodles & Albie’s sheer cuteness. A sweet, fun story by Eric Bennett of penguins and friendship.”
 Gersh Kuntzman – New York Daily News

 

“Bennett and Bannish’s debut is an adorable story that is beautifully illustrated. A delightful read for penguin loving parents and children from start to finish.”
 Barbara Miller – Collection Curator Museum Of Moving Images

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Noodles and Albie In Homestretch

January 22, 2014

After almost a year in the making all the wonderful oil color paintings by artist Liz Bannish have been completed.  The much anticipated kids picture book Noodles & Albie (The Penguin and The Fish) will be going through e-book and print book layout and design over the next month in preparation for its debut.  Noodles & Albie is the story, by Eric Bennett, of a young penguin (Noodles) who is afraid of the water.  When he finally gets up enough courage to take go for a swim, he invariably gets lost at sea and is befriended by a colorful and sassy fish named Albie who helps him find his way home.  Along the way they both grow and learn the true meaning of friendship, while running into a cast of colorful underwater characters.  In conjunction with the story Ms. Bannish has created 14 original paintings.  Look for the official debut of Noodles and Albie sometime in March 2014 available via the Penguin Gift Shop at Penguin Place.

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Noodles and Albie (A Penguin Picture Book)

September 8, 2013

The soon to be released Noodles & Albie is a colorful and fun penguin picture book.  Story by Eric Bennett and illustrations by Liz Bannish.  It is the tale of how a young penguin (Noodles) overcomes his fears and makes, loses and finds again an unlikely new friend (Albie), and does a lot of growing up the process.

noodlespenguinNoodles & Albie was conceived and evolved over time by Penguin Place founder and long time lover of all things penguin Eric Bennett as a bedtime story for his young daughters.  The story was originally called The Fish & The Penguin, and was scribbled down a couple of times, and over time some  illustrations were made by Eric and his kids, but it was mostly told and re-told from memory and over the years with each re-telling the story grew and the characters evolved.

noodleswithparentsThis past January, Eric was “volunteered” by his youngest daughter Rose to read a story to her kindergarten class, so Eric decided rather than read something the kids already knew, he’d finally put The Fish & The Penguin story to paper and read his original penguin tale to Rose’s class.  In writing it down Eric fleshed out the main characters a bit more giving them the names Noodles and Albie, and added a few supporting underwater players.  The origin of the title names were that Noodles has been Eric’s nickname since he was a kid (think long curly ringlets of 1970’s hair), and Albie is the the nickname of Eric’s friend Melissa who he plays ball with.  Eric also decided on settling on those names so as not to upset either of his daughters, and also to give the characters a bit more personality than the generic Fish & Penguin.  Besides, it seemed from the get-go that the names Noodles & Albie fit the characters perfectly.

eelpicfinishedTo Eric’s surprise and delight the reading of Noodles and Albie to Ms. Bussone’s kindergarten class at Bridge St. School was met with much fanfare and acclaim, or as much acclaim (twenty 6 years old kids giving a standing ovation) as one can get from a kindergarten class.  Even Ms. Bussone wanted to know the origin of this “wonderful book”.   A small Noodles & Albie buzz was now in the air around the lower grades with Eric getting requests for print copies of the story from some of the children and parents at Bridge St. School.  A short time later Noodles & Albie was brought to the attention of local Northampton artist Elizabeth Bannish who was intrigued by the charming narrative and colorful characters of the story, so naturally Eric inquired if she would be interested in illustrating the story.  To his surprise Liz said yes, and the two began to collaborate on the fun side project of bringing the Noodles, Albie and their world to life.  Over the next weeks and months Liz’s illustrations went from black and white storyboard sketches, to beautiful, unique and vivid color paintings.  Capturing the essence of the story and her interesting take on the characters that inhabit it.

lizpaintsNot to give too much away but the story is about Noodles, a young penguin who is afraid to go in the water, but of course being a penguin he must learn how to swim,  especially before the winter and six months of Antarctic darkness sets in.

noodleswithparentsOn the last day of summer (and daylight), his parents finally convince Noodles to take the plunge.  After a few moments of confusion and anxiety Noodles realizes that swimming is easy and fun.  But, in his excitement Noodles gets separated from his friends and soon is lost.  He knows he has to get back home before the sun sets for the Antarctic (six months) winter or else he’ll never find his way home, and so his odyssey begins.  He asks various sea creatures for directions, but none of them know where the penguin colony is.  Alone and lost, Noodles is desolate.  A small fish named Albie hears his crying and offers to help. It’s a race against time to get back to the penguin colony before the sun sets.  The fun adventures and intrigue that happens to the pair along the way is what Noodles & Albie is all about.7Noodles & Albie should be available as an e-book and print version sometime in the Winter of 2014