cover image Mama, Papa, and Baby Joe

Mama, Papa, and Baby Joe

Niki Daly. Viking Children's Books, $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-670-84161-5

Jangling rhyme that borders occasionally on gibberish chronicles this family's shopping trip to town. The hustle and bustle of this zany burg and its inhabitants are both familiar and fantastic, as perambulating birds, alligators--one in Moroccan garb--and dinosaurs stride alongside Andy Warhol and Charlie Chaplin. At the supermarket, Baby Joe causes a ruckus, singing and dancing and squirting toothpaste with abandon--``Papa, Mama in a tizzy / Boogie-Woogie in the pram!'' Daly's ( Not So Fast, Songololo! ; Look at Me! ) rambling juxtaposition of words (some real, some invented: ``Quickero backero tiddly-pom'') echoes in an oddly fetching way a toddler's verbal capabilities. His family is a merrily motley crew, with Mama in flowered mini-sundress and ankle-strap heels, Papa in tank top and knit cap and Joe in dotted aqua overalls. Just as the double words here--``oozy-poozy,'' ``pushalong singalong,'' ``okeydokey, clickety clack''--will appeal to youngsters' ears, the wild and wacky infusion of visual treats will delight their eyes. Ages 3-8. (Sept.)