Who's a Clever Baby?

David McKee, Author, D. Briley, Editor, D. McKee, Illustrator Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books $12.95 (26p) ISBN 978-0-688-08595-7
Grandma's pride in her bouncing baby grandchild is tested when she is called on to babysit. Grandma turns herself inside out trying to get baby to repeat a few simple words. ``What terrible teeth Trevor the television tiger has. Say `Tiger,' Baby,'' implores Grandma. ``Dog,'' says Baby. ``Dog'' it turns out, is the only thing Baby can say and it doesn't matter what kind of verbal virtuosity Grandma manufactures, the response from Baby is always ``Dog.'' Grandma, determined to prove her grandchild is clever, spies a dog. ``Such a darling dog, Baby . . . . say `dog,' Baby.'' The obstinate child replies, ``Cat.'' McKee's colorfully textural illustrations are, as usual, loaded with interesting background vignettes: a rather staid older couple give each other sample licks of their ice cream cones; a child slips a mechanical duck into a pond filled with real ducks. Although the story is singular in its direction (some readers may be reminded of David Lloyd's Duck ) and has a somewhat predictable outcome, Grandma's alliterative frenzies are fascinating and readers will find Baby's manipulative stubborness vastly amusing. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-688-08596-4
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