Mary Malloy and the Baby Who Wouldn't Sleep

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-An unusual and compelling offering about a girl, a crying baby, the crescent moon, and a clever crocodile named Mr. Fez. Mary Malloy can't quiet her brother. When Moon offers to rock him, she reluctantly hands him over. Then, in spite of the little girl's protests, Moon takes him ``...all the way to the distant Nile.'' There, Mr. Fez tricks the greedy Moon into thinking that the child's reflection in the water is another baby, and rescues him. He returns the sleeping child to his sister, then sings lullabies (lovely, simple variations of nursery rhymes) to the petulant Moon. Graceful, musical language tells the story in an almost leisurely way, yet the plot never wavers from its course. The artwork (picturing a dreamlike night full of bright color) is original and effective. The world Daly creates is so big that readers can clearly see that it is round, yet so small that the crocodile knows right away where to return the infant. It is also an exotic place, with a fast-food restaurant built into a sphinx and minarets coexisting with modern skyscrapers. Not everyone will take to this book, but those who do may well treasure it.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Ilene Cooper
In this fanciful bedtime tale, the baby is crying; so his sister, Mary Malloy, gets up to comfort him, but neither songs nor stroking do the trick. The crescent moon offers to rock Baby but steals him away instead, much to Mary's horror. So loud are her screams that she's heard all the way to Egypt, where Mr. Fez, the crocodile, hears and wants to help. By showing Moon the baby's reflection in the water, Fez persuades Moon he can have a second baby for the taking. But when Moon goes to grab his new prize, Baby falls into the water. Fez snatches him up and sails the long way back to Mary, who cuddles and croons Baby back to sleep. Although there are overtones of two of Sendak's works--"In the Night Kitchen" (1970), with its nighttime adventure, and "Outside over There" (1989), in which a sister also tries to get back a lost baby--this has its own distinct, easy appeal. Daly's intently colored artwork has a dreamlike quality that's just right for this night flight. Since all the adventure may fire up little ones rather than put them out, consider this for sleepytime story hours where they won't be expected to drop off after the excitement.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307175014
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 7/15/1993
  • Pages: 1
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.03 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2000

    1-yr old loves it

    My 1-year old daughter's new nighttime book. Has to be read at least twice each night. Artwork is well done and the story line is great for both kids and adults. At first I was concerned that it was a 'bad' moon but by the end of the story you sympathize with her as she just wanted to love a baby. The review above mentions the action to be too much right before bedtime. I disagree. I sing the last 3 pages to my daughter to the tune of 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' and that's calming enough.

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