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Vampire Baby
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Vampire Baby

4.7 4
by Kelly Bennett, Paul Meisel (Illustrator)
When Tootie gets her first teeth, it’s clear to her big brother that she’s no ordinary baby. But how to convince Mom and Dad?

It happens overnight: little sister Tootie goes from cuddly, ga-ga-googoo, I-want-my-ba-ba baby...vampire baby. Now she’s sinking her pointy fangs into everything — furniture, toys, and especially her big


When Tootie gets her first teeth, it’s clear to her big brother that she’s no ordinary baby. But how to convince Mom and Dad?

It happens overnight: little sister Tootie goes from cuddly, ga-ga-googoo, I-want-my-ba-ba baby...vampire baby. Now she’s sinking her pointy fangs into everything — furniture, toys, and especially her big brother ("Youch, Tootie! No bite!" ). Mom insists that it’s just a phase, but Tootie’s brother knows better. Just look at her hairline! Or the fact that all her favorite foods are bloodred! With perfect comic timing, Kelly Bennett and Paul Meisel give a fresh slant to the new-baby story, proving that even monstrous little arrivals have a funny way of staking their siblings’ affections.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bennett’s young narrator loves his younger sister, Tootie—until she grows a pair of fangs. After that, he’s shouting, “Youch, Tootie! No bite!” on a regular basis. His parents refuse to believe they’ve sired a vampire (“She’s hungry,” Mom says, explaining why Tootie won’t sleep at night. “And take off that garlic necklace!”), but after the boy tries to foist Tootie off on an actual vampire family, he discovers that he’s more protective than he realized. Meisel gives Tootie a pair of sharp-looking fangs, playing up her brother’s anxieties, while never quite answering the question, “Is she or isn’t she?” Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Jennifer Mattson, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (July)
Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
Tootie is an adorable, cuddly baby sister, a "cuddly ga-ga-goo-goo" charmer until the night that her first teeth—or rather, fangs?—come in, and she turns into a relentlessly biting "vampire baby!" The big brother narrator of the story might have been able to accept her constant chomping at his toys, catcher's mitt, bike tires, and superhero action figures, but when Tootsie turns to toes, fingers, and tummies, it is "YOUCH, TOOTIE! NO BITE!" Tootie's parents insist that biting is just a normal baby phase, but if Tootie is not really a vampire, why are all her favorite foods blood red? And why is she awake so much at nighttime? Finally, Tootie's brother has a chance to get rid of her when he sees a vampire couple, complete with vampire child, walking through the costume section of the local store on shopping day; surely, they will want a vampire baby to round out their family. But in the end, he decides that he cannot really part with his vampire baby, after all. Bennett and Meisel's whimsical collaboration works on two levels: both text and art are carefully ambiguous between the possibility that Tootie might be an actual vampire baby, or might just be a normal teething baby who drives her big brother crazy. Young readers will enjoy the full range of imaginative possibilities here as they share in the message the younger siblings may be irritating, annoying, and downright impossible—but we can still love them, anyway. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS—When baby Tootie gets both canine teeth simultaneously, she becomes Vampire Baby overnight. She "sinks her fangs" into everything, including her older brother, the story's narrator. On shopping day, he puts Tootie in a cape and gives her a sign that says, "Wanted good home for Vampire Baby." A vampire family happens to be in aisle 13 at the same time and offers to take the baby "homey-womey." But when the boy shouts at Tootie for chomping on his nose, her brother comes to her defense and decides to keep her after all. Simple pen-and-ink and watercolor cartoon illustrations accompany text that may interest a preschool audience with teething younger siblings. Young listeners may enjoy repeating, "Youch, Tootie! No bite!" but the appeal of this story may otherwise be limited.—Lindsay Persohn, University of South Florida, Tampa
Kirkus Reviews
Baby Tootie seems like a typically cute baby until her older brother notices an alarming change in her behavior when she gets two suspiciously sharp front teeth. "We should have known right then," states the brother when the doctor observes that two new teeth are "[c]anines….Most unusual," but the boy struggles to convince his parents that Tootie is far from normal, since she's always sinking her fangs into him. Her widow's peak, appetite for "blood red" food and late-night habits all appear to prove the brother's point. But his parents think the teething is "[n]othing to worry about." Fed up, he hatches a plan. During a trip to the store, the brother goes to the costume section and dresses up Tootie "in a Dracula cape" and equips her carriage with a sign advertising for a "good home for Vampire Baby." They meet a likely family in aisle 13, but the young boy (is he a real vampire, or just dressed like one?) gets too close. When Tootie chomps his nose, he scolds her: "AAARGH! YOW! OW! BAD BABY!" Readers can guess how this spurs Tootie's brother into action to defend her. Meisel's illustrations, executed in acrylic, watercolor, collage, pencil, ink and pastel, are full of details that add light, humorous touches to the tale, lending just the right touch of charm. Casting Tootie as a potential vampire gives the well-worn new-baby theme a fresh, comic twist. (Picture book. 4-6)

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.90(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years


Meet the Author

Kelly Bennett is the author of many books for children, including Not Norman: A GoldfishStory. Kelly Bennett lives in Houston, Texas.

Paul Meisel is the illustrator of Harriet’s Had Enough! by Elissa Haden Guest, What’s the Matter in Mr. Whiskers’ Room? by Michael Elsohn Ross, Dear Baby by Sarah Sullivan, and many other books, including the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor–winning See Me Run. Paul Meisel lives in Newtown, Connecticut.

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Vampire Baby 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
kydirtgirl68 More than 1 year ago
Tootie starts out like a normal cuddly baby. When her first teeth come in they have her brother convinced she is a vampire baby. He just have to convince their parents her love of biting and the fangs all point to her being a vampire baby. When I received this book for review it took hours for me to get to read it. Why you may ask? Because my three year old took it and looked at it for hours. Every time I would try to get it from her or try to read it to her she would throw a fit. So it was a good sign she liked the illustrations. When I finally got to read it I fell in love myself. It is such a charming story. Loving paranormal things, childrens books and wonderful pictures to follow just made this book so much better to me. I read the book with my three year old that night and found she could remember each word and sometimes acted out the scenes. For a little boy convinced his sister is a vampire every sign points to the fact she is one. I love how he tried to fix the problem of a vampire baby and when Tootie was in trouble he jumped to her defense. Showing while sibling trouble is something that is common so is taking up for your sibling. Another thing is I already said the illustrations are great but little things through the book make them so much better. Like the pictures in the newspaper the dad is reading. I really enjoyed those little touches. This book has become a nightly read for my child and she has to read it along with me. She calls it the Tootie book. So hands down this is a big winner with both child and parent.
CanadaInker4 More than 1 year ago
Big brother is the narrator of this adorable, sweet story and makes quite an accusation concerning his baby sister.  Don't get me wrong, he loves his little sister, Tootie, but all that instantly changes.  You see Tootie magically, overnight, grows a pair of extended canines that look exactly like Vampire fangs.  But are they really?   Big brother tries to convince his family that she really is a vampire, after all she bites her fangs into everything: the furniture, her favourite toys, and especially into him!  He shouts out, "Youch, Tootie!  No bite!" quite often.  Mom has many excuses why Tootie is in the baby-phase of biting and explains, "She's hungry that's why Tootie won't sleep at night." "And take off that garlic necklace."  But big brother is not convinced. Why just look at her hairline, her favourite foods are bloodred, and she doesn't sleep at night because Vampires don't sleep at night!  Tootie went from adorable to deplorable in his eyes, overnight. On shopping day big brother puts Tootie in a cape and gives her a sign that says, "Wanted good home for Vampire Baby."  Low and behold, on aisle 13 in that supermarket, a real Vampire family arises and offers to take the Vampire Baby "homey-womey."  But when their boy shouts at Tootie for chomping his nose, her big brother comes to her rescue and decides to keep his baby sister after all.   He discovers she is not so bad after all and is a keeper. The illustrations are simple pen-and-ink and watercolour.  They are cartoonish and really drive the story home.  Personally, I loved them.  This story is a great way to teach kids about loving younger siblings in the family and also gives you, the parent,  a chance to teach about "no biting" if that is a problem in your family.   Perfect for gift giving and especially now you can tie it in with the Halloween which will be arriving soon.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Move over Edward Cullen because this book has the cutest vampire around. This will be a Halloween favorite! This enticing children’s book is beyond sweet and offers a whole different take on everyone’s favorite ‘dark ones.’ Yes, this is all about a baby who has just received her first fangs...if you will. Teething is not exactly a happy process - as any mom who has dealt with the pinches that come from their beloved child will tell you. But this tale is a truly funny look at an exhausting issue. In this story, Tootie is her big brother’s happy little sister. She’s funny; she reaches out to him with her chubby little arms for great big hugs - basically he is her idol. However, one night, as darkness falls across the land, Tootie is graced with brand new fangs and the brother no longer likes his sister all that much. After all, she’s biting everything from his catcher’s mitt to his flesh. She also can’t sleep at night; which, of course, is the time vampires are always up and prowling. As the brother becomes a little more wary of Tootie, he comes up with an idea to ‘place’ her with just the right family who has the same interesting characteristics Tootie now has. Of course, in the end, the brother has to choose between letting his new vampire sister go and standing up for Tootie because of the pure and utter love he has for her in his heart. This is a GREAT Trick or Treat read for the kids, especially since Halloween is just a few short weeks away. But this story also offers a two-fold plot. Teething time is exhausting for parents - so this fun-loving, happy tale provides a little respite in order to see things from Tootie’s point of view. Quill says: The author did a hysterical job and the illustrator deserves an A+ for bringing Tootie and gang to life! Happy Halloween!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I was nine years old, my mother brought a baby to the family fold. I desperately wanted a sister, but I got a brother. As my mother lay in the hospital before brining my little brother home, I tried to five him away to an aunt. . But when I saw this cute little bundle, there was no way he was going anywhere. He was mine and he would stay mine--no matter what faults and quirks might turn up in the future. Kelly Bennett, in her book Vampire Baby, has captured this feeling exquisitely. The little boy in the book is ready to give away his little sister, rather than suffer her continuous biting. He even convinces himself that she is a vampire! And therein lies the wit and the joy in this book. As the brother piles on more and more evidence that his sister is, indeed, otherworldly, he makes a momentous decision, a decision he intends to carry out in a well-chosen--by our author--location. But in the end, the message is clear. We love our siblings despite it all. Vampire Baby is a wonderful book, filled with humor and warm fuzzy feelings. Bennett has wisely chosen to couch her story in otherworldliness to not only get a young reader's attention but to make her point in a fun way. And Paul Meisel's whimsical illustrations complete the delight! Meisel has taken Bennett's absurdity and run with it, all the way to the finish line. This is a book that the very young will adore and, in a world where teens are fascinated by werewolves and vampires, it should stay on book shelves for a long, long time.