Kirkus Reviews QR Code
GOOD BABIES by Tim Myers


by Tim Myers & illustrated by Kelly Murphy

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7636-2227-3
Publisher: Candlewick

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)