Murmel, Murmel, Murmel is
the story of a five-year old girl named Robin. She is playing in her sand box one day when she discovers a large hole. She shouts down into the hole, “Anybody down there?” and to her surprise hears back, “Murmel, murmel murmel.” What could it possibly be?
Robin reaches down into the hole and pulls out a baby! Shocked and dismayed at the thought of having to
care for it, Robin sets out to find an adult who will take it off her hands. She asks people on the street, “Excuse me, do you need a baby?” She encounters seventeen diaper salesmen, a crotchety old lady with a bundle of seventeen cats climbing off her and a woman who has seventeen jobs, lots of money, and no time. None of them will take the baby.
Robin meets a man who wants to know if the baby can wash his car or if he can sell it for money. “What’s it for?” the man asks Robin. When Robin tells him it’s for loving and hugging, the man walks off. Finally, Robin exchanges the baby in an unlikely deal. A truck driver will give her his truck if she gives him the baby!
This is a children’s book that takes on an adult issue—caring for babies—and looks at it from a child’s point of view. The result is an entertaining, entirely silly, and memorable story. This is a good book to read to youngsters who may have a baby brother or sister at home. All children will delight in the whimsically unbelievable story. While no one would hand off a baby to a total stranger, disbelief is suspended because the story is so likeable.
Michael Martchenko creates the watercolor illustrations that bring the story to life. Words tell the tale, but pictures often help increase the understanding of those words. Especially in the case of children and those first learning to read, the illustrations can often be the focal point while relating the story. Pointing out the need for someone to be found to take care of the baby reinforces the lesson of caring.