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Midnight Babies
     

Midnight Babies

by Margaret Wild, Ann James (Illustrator)
 

While her family snores away, Baby Brenda bounces out of bed and heads to the Midnight Café with her friends. It’s time for the babies to play! The mischievous toddlers are all set to dance and feast—but can they share in the fun with Baby Mario and his friends? Bright, comic illustrations capture the spirit of this uproariously funny story,

Overview


While her family snores away, Baby Brenda bounces out of bed and heads to the Midnight Café with her friends. It’s time for the babies to play! The mischievous toddlers are all set to dance and feast—but can they share in the fun with Baby Mario and his friends? Bright, comic illustrations capture the spirit of this uproariously funny story, perfect for the youngest reader.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"It's hard to describe the joyfulness, the pure baby exuberance of this sweet, silly story." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

'" "At midnight when absolutely anything can happen," Baby Brenda escapes through the cat door to romp with the other neighborhood babies at hte Midnight Cafe. Baby Brenda and gang tote a "jiggly-joggly treat" in a little wood wagon, only to discover that their destination is already occupied by Baby Mario and his friends. A standoff between Baby Brenda and Baby Mario resolves itself as they "Wibble Wobble" and "Blibble Blobble," sharing their food and dancing until they "All fall down! Phew!" Baby Brenda's nighttime sophistication disappears at breakfast when, like an ordinary baby, she "tips her bowl of cereal over her head — and burrrps!" From the book's insouciant cover art to the showdown at the cafe, James's (Dog In, Cat Out) fun-loving babies are full of verve. Her witty, jewel-toned paintings capture the mood of zestful make-believe, as in the pictures of the babies "play[ing] dress-up with food.": Mario wears cherries as earrings, with a necklace of sausages; Brenda sports a hat made of grapes crowned by a half-peeled banana. But the target audience for Wild's (Old Pig) extended fantasy seems confused. The language is a bit arch in spots...and childish in others... The premise, like that of Nina Laden's The Night I Followed the Dog, has more than enough appeal; whether or not literal-minded toddlers, struggling to separate fact from fantasy, will appreciate its uneven execution here remains in question." Publishers Weekly

"Readers of Nina Laden's The Night I Followed the Dog (1994) and Bruce Ingman's A Night on the Tiles (1999) will readily accept this proposition that babies, too, lead a secret life in the wee hours. Here Baby Brenda rises to raid the refrigerator, then wiggles through the cat door to join her friends at the Midnight Cafe — where a tense encounter with Baby Mario and his buddies dissolves into a messy, joyous melee, thanks to a wagonload of wibbly-wobbly Jell-o. Later tummies full, the stubby revelers wash off under sprinklers and scatter to their homes. James fills her luminous scenes with squads of exhuberant diaper or Doctor-Denton-clad toddlers, along with the occasional dog, and closes with a close-up of carrot-topped Brenda cheerfully upending a bowl of cereal over her head at the breakfast table, to the tune of a resonant belch. Parents and older sibs who wonder why babies get so much more pleasure out of playing with food than eating it will understand at last, thanks to this follow-up to the Midnight Gang (1996)." Kirkus Reviews

At the magic hour, baby Brenda climbs out of bed, heads downstairs to pack some snacks, and wiggles out the cat door for a rendezvous with her diaper-wearing pals and their special surprise, a wagon filled with a Jell-O-like treat. Together, they head to their favorite hangout, the Midnight Cafe, but soon discover that Baby Mario and his friends are already there. At first, the members of the two groups scowl at each other, but the tension quickly dissolves when Baby Mario points to the "jiggly-joggly" mass and asks" Wibble wobble?' Now there are smiles all around as the youngsters dance, feast on fruit and other goodies, and share the treat. After a cleanup under the sprinklers, Baby Brenda bids her friends good-bye and scuttles back to bed. The next morning, she wears a secret smile when her older sister tells her she should eat more breakfast. Done in chalk pastels on colored paper, the vibrant artwork brings this imaginary romp to life. The multiethnic children are clad in a dazzling array of sleep wear and bright white diapers, and these colors glow against the subdued nighttime backdrops. The scenes at the Cafe are filled with energy and motion, as the babies dance and cavort. Peppered with nonsense words and catchy rhymes, the language keeps the story moving quickly. While some literal-minded toddlers will wonder how a baby who is too young to talk can participate in such adventures, others will be swept away by the pure silliness of the situation.
School Library Journal

null Booklist, Editor's Choice

Children's Literature
Ever wonder why some babies aren't hungry in the morning and simply dump their cereal over their heads? Australian author Wild provides an explanation: Midnight babies raid the 'fridge and go to the Midnight Café to party. Baby Brenda's koala bear backpack is loaded with food as she crawls through the cat door to meet her buddies. There's a confrontation with Baby Mario and his cronies. But that disintegrates as soon as they see Brenda's friend's wagon full of enough scrumptious jiggly joggly dessert for all. Babies feast, dance, play dress up with food, and prance in the sprinklers before returning to their comfy homes. This is a nonsense book to read just for fun, with lots of babies, pets, and food surrounded by soft-edged drawings and silly. made-up words. James' illustrations are soft yet bold, done in chalk pastels on colored paper. 2001, Clarion, $15.00. Ages 2 to 6. Reviewer: Chris Gill
School Library Journal
PreS-At the magic hour, Baby Brenda climbs out of bed, heads downstairs to pack some snacks, and wiggles out the cat door for a rendezvous with her diaper-wearing pals and their special surprise, a wagon filled with a Jell-O-like treat. Together, they head to their favorite hangout, the Midnight Caf , but soon discover that Baby Mario and his friends are already there. At first, the members of the two groups scowl at each other, but the tension quickly dissolves when Baby Mario points to the "jiggly-joggly" mass and asks, "Wibble wobble?" Now there are smiles all around as the youngsters dance, feast on fruit and other goodies, and share the treat. After a cleanup under the sprinklers, Baby Brenda bids her friends good-bye and scuttles back to bed. The next morning, she wears a secret smile when her older sister tells her she should eat more breakfast. Done in chalk pastels on colored paper, the vibrant artwork brings this imaginary romp to life. The multiethnic children are clad in a dazzling array of sleepwear and bright white diapers, and these colors glow against the subdued nighttime backdrops. The scenes at the Caf are filled with energy and motion, as the babies dance and cavort. Peppered with nonsense words and catchy rhymes, the language keeps the story moving quickly. While some literal-minded toddlers will wonder how a baby who is too young to talk can participate in such adventures, others will be swept away by the pure silliness of the situation.-Joy Fleishhacker, formerly at School Library Journal Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Readers of Nina Laden's The Night I Followed the Dog (1994) and Bruce Ingman's A Night on the Tiles (1999) will readily accept this proposition that babies, too, lead a secret life in the wee hours. Here Baby Brenda rises to raid the refrigerator, then wiggles through the cat door to join her friends at the Midnight Café-where a tense encounter with Baby Mario and his buddies dissolves into a messy, joyous mêlée, thanks to a wagonload of wibbly-wobbly Jell-o. Later, tummies full, the stubby revelers wash off under sprinklers and scatter to their homes. James fills her luminous scenes with squads of exuberant diaper or Doctor Denton-clad toddlers, along with the occasional dog, and closes with a close-up of carrot-topped Brenda cheerfully upending a bowl of cereal over her head at the breakfast table, to the tune of a resonant belch. Parents and older sibs who wonder why babies get so much more pleasure out of playing with food than eating it will understand at last, thanks to this follow-up to The Midnight Gang (1996). (Picture book. 5-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618104123
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
03/27/2001
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
(w) x (h) x 0.32(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author


Margaret Wild is a children's book editor as well as an acclaimed writer for children. She currently lives in Australia.

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