cover image Bad Babies Countg Bk

Bad Babies Countg Bk

Tony Bradman. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $4.95 (26pp) ISBN 978-0-394-88352-6

Who could resist picking up a book with this title? At first, Bradman's text delivers: ""One bad baby, bouncing on his bed. Two bad babies, with their breakfasts on their heads.'' Then, with ``Five bad babies, drinking from their cups,'' and ``Six bad babies, in the bathroom cleaning up,'' the author starts to rely on the illustrator for all the mischief. And that's where concept and application clash. Van der Beek's children are neither babies nor toddlersthey're of an indeterminate age and spend their time at school (probably preschool), totally unsupervised. They are seen shopping, at a grocery store with no adult in sight, or three to a bathtub, again, sans parents. And while the background details are charming, the babies themselves just aren't all that cute. (2-5)