The Goblin Baby

Overview

The fairies have stolen Tam’s baby sister—and he has to get her back!

Tam wakes up in the middle of the night to the sound of laughing . . . and howling. He runs to his baby sister Blue’s room, but she’s gone and there’s a goblin baby in her place! Blue has been stolen by the fairies and only Tam can get her back. But in order to swap the goblin baby for his sister, he’ll have to face enchanted beasts, cross a...

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Overview

The fairies have stolen Tam’s baby sister—and he has to get her back!

Tam wakes up in the middle of the night to the sound of laughing . . . and howling. He runs to his baby sister Blue’s room, but she’s gone and there’s a goblin baby in her place! Blue has been stolen by the fairies and only Tam can get her back. But in order to swap the goblin baby for his sister, he’ll have to face enchanted beasts, cross a wide sapphire lake, and give up the thing he loves most in the world.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Heather Christensen
When Tam and his parents wake to discover an ugly goblin baby in the crib of his baby sister Blue they are understandably confused. Great-grandpa Toby informs the family that the imposter is actually a changeling left by the fairies who stole Tam's sister. Eager to rescue Blue, Tam listens carefully to his grandfather's warnings and then travels to a distant magical fairy kingdom with Pix, the changeling baby. Tam's quest is the work of heroes, requiring sacrifice, courage, and wit. In true fairy tale fashion, Tam's kindness to Pix rewards him in the end. While secondary characters are not as well developed, Tam is a likeable hero, sure to win the hearts of new readers as he finds his way in the dark and cunning fairy world. Harker's clean line drawings keep the mood light. A straightforward plot and unfussy vocabulary make this a perfect choice for independent readers not yet ready for the long fantasy novels that are so popular. Reviewer: Heather Christensen
School Library Journal

Gr 2-4

In the middle of the night, nine-year-old Tam wakes up to discover that the fairies have swapped his newborn sister for a grotesque goblin baby, and Great-grandpa tells him that he must take the changeling to Faery and get his sibling back. However, the journey will be dangerous, and not everyone who enters this realm comes out. Once inside Faery, Tam discovers there are consequences to one's choices and to be a hero, he must choose the right path. This easy chapter book is full of whimsy and tales of fairy folk, and Great-grandpa adds a touch of playfulness that will engage young minds. Children will see a hero in Tam and understand that bravery can arise from unlikely circumstances. Simple but engaging line drawings bring the characters and the trials Tam must face to life. A well-told tale worth sharing.-Robyn Gioia, Bolles School, Ponte Vedra, FL

Kirkus Reviews
Tam has a strong reaction when his new baby sister is born: "I wish that baby would go away!" But Great-grandpa's wisdom coupled with the present of his "most special thing," encourages Tam to hold his sister and declare his love. Transformed, Tam names his sister Blue and spends all his time playing with her or with his Great-grandpa's present-a kaleidoscope that he calls a starburster. Soon after Blue's birth, the horrible happens. Blue is stolen and a changeling called Pix is left in her place, and it's up to Tam to enter Faery to save his sister, with the help of the starburster, his memory and Pix herself. This is a fine introduction to the traditional changeling story, which is mostly unknown to American children. Harker's frequent black-and-white line illustrations help younger readers keep the story going, but the complexity of the tale is for more experienced readers than the usual audience for the Stepping Stones series. Those who find it will be rewarded: Tam and Blue are charming characters, and Doherty's storytelling is a treat. (Fantasy. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375858413
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/26/2009
  • Series: A Stepping Stone Book(TM) Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 610L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Berlie Doherty’s rich fantasy tale has charming black-and-white line illustrations by Lesley Harker. Berlie Doherty has won the Carnegie Medal twice, first for Grannie Was a Buffer Girl and then for Dear Nobody. She lives in Derbyshire, England.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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