cover image Little Baby Bobby

Little Baby Bobby

Nancy Van Laan. Alfred A. Knopf, $17 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-679-84922-3

Van Laan's (People, People Everywhere!) riotous, don't-try-this-at-home tale sends a ceaselessly smiling tot zipping through town in his runaway buggy, which creates merry mayhem as it crashes into a variety of objects and individuals. ""Little baby Bobby/ babbles in delight./ Clap! go his hands/ as his buggy takes flight""; and with each mishap (much to Bobby's amusement, his stroller hits a policeman, a hydrant, a pretzel cart, a painter and a letter carrier), the throng following in the carriage's wake grows. Cornell's (Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born) ebullient cartoon art helps make this a jolly chase indeed. With ingenuous humor, she conveys the nonstop motion of Bobby's madcap spree as well as a range of exaggerated emotions--from Bobby's sheer joy to his in-pursuit sitter's total panic. Her full-spread pictures amplify the beat of Van Laan's alliterative, finger-snapping verse--complete with spirited sound effects (""Smasha-crasha-smoosha!""; ""Foom-fibba-fum!"")--that especially recommend this as a read-aloud. Ages 3-8. (July)