Cover image for Midnight babies
Midnight babies
Wild, Margaret, 1948-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Clarion Books, 2001.

Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Baby Brenda and her friends have fun at the Midnight Cafe, enjoying a "wibble wobble" dance, a "jiggly-joggly" treat, and a dip in the sprinklers before going home to bed.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.2 0.5 49494.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



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.

Author Notes

Margaret Wild was born in South Africa and moved to Australia in 1972. She has been a journalist on newspapers and magazines, and worked as a book editor in children's publishing for sixteen years. She eventually quit to write fulltime.

Wild has written more than 40 books for children. Some titles include The House of Narcissus, Jenny Angel, Tom Goes to Kindergarten, Nighty Night!, The Pocket Dogs and The Very Best of Friends.

Her books are published around the world and have won numerous awards, including the Young Australian Best Book Award (YABBA) - Picture Book Shortlisted in 2001 for Jenny Angel; the New South Wales State Literary Award - Young Reader Shortlisted in 2000 for Jenny Angel; the CBC Book of the Year - Picture Book Winner in 2000 for Jenny Angel; the Young Australian Best Book Award (YABBA) - Picture Book listed in 2000 for Miss Lily's Fabulous Pink Feather Boa; the Australian Publishers Association - Design Shortlisted in 1999 for Jenny Angel; the Family Award for Children's Books - Picture Book shortlisted in 1999 for Jenny Angel; the Young Australian Best Book Award (YABBA) - Picture Book Shortlisted in 1999 for Miss Lily's Fabulous Pink Feather Boa; and the CBC Book of the Year - Picture Book Shortlisted in 1985 for There's a Sea in My Bedroom. In 2015 she had an Honour Book at the 2015 Children's Book Council (CBCA) Book of the Year Awards with her title, The Stone Lion. (Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 2^-5. The mood of this fantastical ode to babydom is set right on the book's cover, which shows two blissful babes dancing to the music at the Midnight Cafe. That's the spot to which babies secretly trundle off to party, feast, and play dress-up with their food. At night, Baby Brenda slips past sleeping Mom and Dad, wiggles through the cat door, and meets her diapered pals and heads off to the cafe. Inside, there may be a little trouble between Baby Mario and his pals and Baby Brenda and hers, but then the babies notice the wagonload of jiggly-joggly gelatin that Brenda's gang has brought and the dancing begins. It's hard to describe the joyfulness, the pure baby exuberance of this sweet, silly story. Toddlers prance around and shouts of "Wibble Wobble" fill the air. At last it's time to "feast and feast." James' chalk pastels on colored paper are just the right complement to the story's high jinks. These babies are big; they fill up the pages. Their actions are whimsical, bold, and delicious (especially when the feasting begins and the shimmering treat winds up everywhere). Readers and listeners of many ages will enjoy this. Midnight Babies^-catch the wave! --Ilene Cooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

"At midnight, when absolutely anything can happen," Baby Brenda escapes through the cat door to romp with the other neighborhood babies at the Midnight Caf. 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 the 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 ("Baby Brenda thinks Baby Mario looks dashing! And Baby Mario thinks Baby Brenda looks divine!") and childish in others (e.g., a sequence of "Wibble Wobbles"). 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 fancy, will appreciate its uneven execution here remains in question. Ages 1-4. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.