×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Good Babies: A Tale of Trolls, Humans, a Witch, and a Switch
     

Good Babies: A Tale of Trolls, Humans, a Witch, and a Switch

by Tim Myers, Kelly Murphy (Illustrator)
 
Any parent who has ever been sleep-deprived will smile at this richly illustrated, lively original folktale that reassures us that all babies are good babies — and that patient love can foil even the worst-laid plans.

A troll-baby living with humans? A human baby with trolls? What chaos and heartache that would lead to!

Long ago, a dark-eyed witch,

Overview

Any parent who has ever been sleep-deprived will smile at this richly illustrated, lively original folktale that reassures us that all babies are good babies — and that patient love can foil even the worst-laid plans.

A troll-baby living with humans? A human baby with trolls? What chaos and heartache that would lead to!

Long ago, a dark-eyed witch, passing through a valley deep in the mountains of Norway, discovered two families — one human and one troll — each with a brand-new baby. The human baby slept all day and cried all night, driving his family crazy, no matter how much they rocked or sang or made funny faces. Likewise, the troll baby was a terror who slept all night and cried all day, which is when trolls like to take to their beds. Meanwhile, the witch, hoping to refresh her travel-weary bones with some wickedness, gleefully swapped troll-brat for human infant. But what is a wily witch to do when her bad intentions backfire?

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
It is not often we have a new fairy tale that rings as true as the old. The witch is mischievous. She hears the new human baby crying at night and the new troll baby crying during the day. Since she wants both families to be miserable, she switches the babies. That way no one will sleep. Now the human baby sleeps during the day. His new troll family thinks he looks, well, unfortunately rather cute, but do not say that to the mama troll who is sure this is her own ugly son. And the troll baby sleeps during the night. His new human family finds him rather ugly, but do not say that to the mama human who is sure this is her own adorable son. The next issue is what the babies eat, or do not eat and then the problem when both babies actually get onto their real day/night schedule. It's a lovely mix-up for the families and the witch that wants to do harm and really does good. So while the trolls and witches are introduced, they are not scary. And the problems of getting babies to sleep will ring true to any experienced parent. The tone and color of the illustrations give it an old-country feel, while their liveliness show real families singing lullabies to difficult newborns. 2005, Candlewick Press, Ages 2 to 8.
—Amy S. Hansen
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-In this original folktale with a Nordic setting, a family in the valley is having a dreadful time because their baby sleeps all day and cries all night. Deep in the mountains, a new trollkin sleeps all night but keeps his family up all day with his cries. A passing witch with a mischievous gleam in her eye thinks it would be fun to switch the two youngsters. The family in the valley is delighted that their baby sleeps all night even though he keeps getting uglier and stronger. The trolls are also pleased with their trollkin who stays up all night with them even though he has a marked independent streak. Despite their bad behavior and strange appearances, both babies are loved and coddled. This annoys the witch to no end and she puts them back in their proper homes. Instead of being heartbroken, though, the families are delighted to have their own babies back. Murphy's acrylic, watercolor, and gel illustrations are based in blue. The figures are simply drawn but the rich color and shading bring them to life. An enjoyable story, particularly for children who would like to trade in their noisy younger siblings.-Linda Staskus, Parma Regional Library, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An evil witch outsmarts herself in this warm-hearted twist on the "changeling child" motif. Even as a newborn's constant nighttime crying is driving his Norwegian family to distraction, a nocturnal troll clan up the mountain is having the same problem in reverse. Hearing two babies' voices, a sharp-eared passing witch decides on a little mischief-but it's a vast relief to both families to have babies that sleep when they sleep. Moreover, when the infants exhibit normal (for them) behavior and taste in food, both mothers offer the same wisdom-"love him till he learns better"-and sing lullabies. This so enrages the witch when she again passes through that she switches the babies back. The human family oddly fails to notice when their newest member temporarily develops green skin and froggy eyes (and conversely, for the trolls) in Murphy's deft, comical watercolors, but a little suspension of disbelief never hurt anyone. In time, both families forget how much trouble their babies were, which, Myers notes, "is usually how it goes"-a point worth making to readers with new sibs of their own. (Picture book. 6-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763622275
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
09/13/2005
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.19(w) x 9.39(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

TIM MYERS is the author of numerous books for young readers, including the acclaimed NEW YORK TIMES bestseller BASHO AND THE FOX. Of GOOD BABIES, he says, "Until she was two, my daughter never slept longer than three hours at a time. This almost turned her mother and me into trolls — but Cassie turned out wonderful! I think patience with children is at the heart of what it means to be civilized."

Kelly Murphy has written and illustrated several books for children and is the illustrator of LOONY LITTLE by Dianna Hutts Aston. She says she had many an inspiration for GOOD BABIES as she's "of a trollish nature and known to munch on polliwogs from time to time."

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews