It’s the special holiday edition of New Books in Children’s Literature! Today I’m talking with Eric Bennett, a renowned children’s author and penguin wheeler-dealer (you’ll have to listen to the interview…). We’ll be talking about Noodles’ and Albie’s Birthday Surprise (Penguin Place, 2016), the latest in the “Noodles and Albie” series. Noodles’ is a penguin. It’s his birthday! It’s also December 24th! Albie—a fish, and Noodles’ best friend—treats Noodles’ to a trip to the Polar Kingdom, “the world’s greatest undersea amusement park,” and gives him a birthday present, a compass as it happens. I don’t want to give away the story, but the pair meet a large man with a big white beard, dressed all in red, and in a sled drawn by—you guessed it—reindeer. To Noodles’ and Albie, the big man is just another strange human, no stranger than any other. Well, the big man is lost. Good thing Albie gave Noodles a compass! It’s a great book, and beautifully illustrated by Milanka Reardon. My three-year-old daughter loved it. Happy holidays from the NBN!