cover image That Terrible Baby

That Terrible Baby

Jennifer Armstrong. HarperCollins Publishers, $14 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-688-11832-7

When that terrible baby chews up the eye patch of Mark's pirate costume or rips Eleanor's gorilla poster off the wall or gets water all over the bathroom floor or knocks over the garbage can, their mother hears none of Mark and Eleanor's explanations--she just points to the smile on the baby's face and says, ``That is a perfect angel. Don't blame the baby.'' Mark and Eleanor fantasize about making the baby walk the plank or putting the baby in the zoo (labeled ``Tyrannobaby Americanus''). However, after saving their sibling from crawling blithely down the stairs, they declare, ``It's not such a terrible baby, really.'' In the end, the two decide to play outside while their unsuspecting mother tends her angel all by herself. Meddaugh's ( Martha Speaks ) droll illustrations feature a goggle-eyed, not altogether charming baby whose footed sleeper pajamas resemble striped prison garb, and a yellow cat (named Dogbiscuit) who frantically avoids the baby's grasp. Although the story is somewhat familiar, Armstrong's ( Hugh Can Do ) wry narrative and Meddaugh's action-filled, comical drawings are fresh and funny. Ages 3-up. (Apr.)